A message from Pastor Mike of the Road to Freedom program.
Although many people may seem concerned about our struggles, we must be careful who we listen to. Some may have good intentions, but wrong perceptions or solutions. However, it is usually the people who care about us the most that will do whatever it takes to get us the help we need. This is the story in Matthew 9:1-8, where Jesus is returning to His ministry center of Capernaum. While He is there, a man is brought to Him that is paralyzed and lying on a bed. The picture we see in the story is a few men carried the man to where Jesus was. These are true friends.
Other people were surrounding the paralytic man as well. It was the common belief of the day that if someone suffered a catastrophic illness, it was because of their sin or the sin of a close relative. Day by day, these people would pass the paralytic and condemn him as deserving of his suffering, not lifting a finger to help. They despised him for his illness, casting guilt as they walked by. If he listened to them, he would have stayed on his bed until the day he died.
There were others who felt pity, but they did nothing to help him. They consoled him occasionally, but felt powerless to help. Although their feelings were different from the condemners, they created the same result. If the man listened to them, he would have stayed on his bed until the day he died.
Fortunately, he chose to listen to his friends who wanted to help him. He allowed them to pick him up on his bed and carry him through the streets on that bed (an embarrassing proposition in any culture). He listened to the right people. He listened to the people who cared enough to do something to help him, and he walked again.
Can you relate to this story? Addiction is like paralysis; you can’t help yourself. Have you ever found yourself surrounded by the same people as this man? I urge you not to listen to those who only condemn you and offer no help. Don’t listen to those who only console you, but are content to let you stay where you are. Listen to people who care enough to help you. Listen to those who see your need and want to take action. More importantly, listen to those who want to get you to Jesus.
If you have friends or family urging you to get help for an alcohol or drug problem, listen to them. They want the best for you. They want to see you healed. Consider a treatment program like Road To Freedom. Let your loved ones help you get there, and let Jesus help you walk again.