“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” —Proverbs 29:25
Whether you know it or not, addiction plays an enormous role in your life and the lives of those around you. From your connection to God to your family structure, a dependency on substances alters everything about who you are.
Trust is a central element in virtually all relationships, both personal and professional. Show others that you are responsive, responsible, and reliable through your interactions. Then, a level of confidence develops, building your esteem in the eyes of others. Unfortunately, the deeper addiction goes, the more the trust others have in you erodes. After all, substance use takes precedence over meetings, appointments, and obligations. As a result, the respect and admiration previously held by those in your life slide away. It may even lead to resentment, anger, and feelings of betrayal over time.
During recovery, regaining lost trust is often a priority for those who are attempting to return to normal life. Still, the road to safe, stable relationships is often harder than it appears. Soon after achieving sobriety, many suffering from substance dependency find themselves facing a proverbial minefield left in the wake of addiction with no clear path ahead. In this time, it’s easy to feel hurt and lost, as if there’s no way to go back to the life you used to know. You may believe your old life is gone for good, or that your relationship with Christ is ruined beyond repair. However, with dedication, commitment, and faith, it’s possible to slowly regain the trust you lost, one day at a time.
Trust is a valuable commodity, especially in relationships. When your friends and family trust you, they are willing to put faith in you, seek help from you, and rely on you to be an important part of their lives. However, when trust is gone, it’s extremely challenging to bring back. This is especially true for those who were seriously harmed through the struggles of addiction, like the members of your immediate family.
Even though the road ahead may seem impossible, trust is still an important part of living a healthy life and maintaining your faith. As Psalm 40:4 says, “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie.” With convictions and a change of character, you can take the necessary steps forward to alter the way others see you and make amends for the hurt you caused. These steps can help you seek forgiveness and prove your reformed nature, leading to positive, healthy changes as you work through recovery.
1. Focus on Yourself
All positive change starts from within, and this is especially true during recovery from addiction. No one else can help you achieve sobriety; the power to cease use comes from you and you alone. In order to promote a shift in the way others see you, you must first alter the ways in which you see yourself, working to overcome your demons and stand strong in your faith once more.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” God puts trials and challenges in your path, but it is up to you to use His strength to overcome them. Addiction is no different.
2. Be Accountable for Your Actions
A big part of recovery hinges on accountability for your mistakes, both internally and externally. No wrongdoings made throughout the course of addiction are anyone’s fault but yours, and the sooner you are able to accept this reality and work to move past it, the better prepared you are to make amends for the damages caused through the course of addiction.
Proverbs 28:13 is an important verse for those in recovery, reminding us that “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” In order to demonstrate your commitment to change, both to those around you and to God, you must work past your mistakes rather than making excuses.
3. Create a Routine
A failure to meet obligations is often one of the most damaging components of addiction. As a need for regular use grows, it’s not uncommon for users to find themselves skipping work, missing appointments, and failing to fulfill family plans, like picking up the kids from school or date night.
It’s easy to say you’re different now that you’re not using, but as the adage goes, actions speak louder than words. In order to prove that you can be trusted to care for your family, complete projects at work, and support your loved ones when they need help, you need to demonstrate that you can do this. For most people, a routine will help accomplish this. When your family and employers know when you’ll arrive, when you’ll leave, and where you’ll be, it’s easier to believe that you’re dependable and available.
4. Don’t Expect Praise
Recovering from addiction is an enormous stride forward, requiring conviction, dedication, and faith to ensure success. For many in recovery, the months following rehabilitation are ones of exceptional pride, especially when sobriety begins to replace poor behavior. However, this pride is largely internal, and you are unlikely to receive praise for the things others around you have managed to do all along.
Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” As you work to regain trust, don’t make changes solely out of anticipated praise from others; instead, do right by the Lord and reap His rewards.
5. Say What You Mean
In the depths of addiction, lying is extremely common. Many users will use falsehoods to cover up use or make excuses to obtain more drugs, creating a web of lies from which escape can be a challenge. These lies can significantly affect how others see you, painting you as a dishonest person only concerned with himself.
Instead of allowing others to maintain these damaging viewpoints, commit to following your word. If you say you will be home at 6:00 pm, be there at 6:00 pm. When you offer to pick up the kids from school, you better be there when the bell rings. If you are asked a question, answer honestly. Proverbs 12:22 states “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy,” so make it your mission to earn the respect of God as well as those who matter in your life.
The road to trust is long and bumpy, but the rewards are worth the struggle. With the right perspective, you can slowly begin to rebuild your relationships with friends, family members, employers, and Christ.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, help is here. Contact Road to Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about our Christian-based rehabilitation and detox programs. All consultations are confidential.