Relapse is an unfortunate reality of recovery ministry. When a loved one relapses it crushes us. We wonder if they will have the willingness to seek help and sometimes even doubt they will ever be free. Like any sin, falling back into addiction is rooted in the heart and there are often noticeable patterns of behavior…my prayer in providing these is that we would notice the warning signs in our loved ones before they return to their addiction so that we would move toward them in love and wisdom.
Our Interventions are therefore meant to reflect the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and are thus determined successful not based upon whether or not someone listens to us, but rather in how much our interventions reflect the cross of Jesus Christ.
I think James recognized the profound glory of intervening in someone’s life when he said this, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:16). What an opportunity! We can participate in saving someone’s soul from death and displaying an amazing truth contained in the gospel: There is enough grace to cover a multitude of sins!
I remember standing on a street corner in the rain talking to my dad on a payphone. He said “son, your mother has been so worried about you that she’s neglecting me. I’ve had this infection in my nose for over a year. It was misdiagnosed by my doctor and I just found out that its cancer. He said… son, you’re killing me.” That was a moment of clarity. I began to cry. I was 31 years old and for the first time in my life, I realized that my behavior was affecting other people. That was it. I had to get sober but I still refused to repent. I was going to do it my way. The drugs were the problem, and if I could just stop using, it would all be ok.