Addiction and the Healing Power of the Gospel: Part 2
In the second part of this interview with our own Bradley Hyde, he walks his through what people and resources were instrumental in his recovery. If you have any questions for BJ, you can always reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. What advice and encouragement would you give to recovering addicts and their family members? What is the best thing friends and family members can do?
BJ: To the addict: Find the joy of salvation and fan the flame with urgency and determination. Instead of focusing on not doing drugs; focus on the goodness of God, and the joy he gives us when he’s glorified in our lives. Aside from the intervention of God, community is the second most important part of quitting drugs. Celebrate Recovery is a great Christian program that combines the practical applications of 12 steps and the power of the gospel.
To the family of the addicted: Many families find themselves trying to reconcile tough-love and grace. There is no simple algorithm to achieve a perfect balance of the two. It’s hard and exhausting, but you have to try. You can never fall too hard to either side. Both are appropriate at times, and not knowing what approach to take may make you feel helpless. Don’t enable, but don’t cut them off from your love either. You don’t want perpetuate their addiction, but you also never want to make the addicted loved one feel unloved, hopeless or like they’re beyond hope. I think God can use the experience of having an addicted family member to soften the hearts of everyone involved, but it takes constant submission to the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit. The best thing I can say is to a hurting family member is to respond righteously. Pray more. Read your Bible more. As you grow in grace, the addict will see you and know that there is a love that transcends understanding.
6. Was there a particular book, song, or bible verse that helped with recovery/resonated with you?
BJ: Books: Crazy Love by Francis Chan, anything by Philip Yancey, Love Does by Bob Goff, anything by Donald Miller (especially A Million Miles in a Thousand Years), everything by CS Lewis but especially Mere Christianity, and so many more that I can’t remember right now. Recently I read a book called Doxology and Theologythat really revolutionized the way I view the role of theology in worship music!
Bible verse: I really connected with Luke and Romans early on in recovery. I struggled with the inerrancy of the Bible ever since I was little. I believed that Jesus was the son of God and that he saved me, but i had to acquiesce in the authority of scripture. Luke was helpful to me initially because he was methodical, he interviewed surviving witnesses and he was a doctor! We trust doctors in our culture! Romans was good for me because it acknowledged the complexity of grace. We serve a gracious God who lives outside of time, and that’s impossible to understand as fallen, linear people! I don’t always understand Romans, but I also don’t fully understand grace. The congruency of these facts has been comforting to me.
7. Your parents are incredible people. How have they been instrumental in your recovery?
BJ: The fact that my parents were even still available to witness my recovery is a blessing. By all standards of justice, I should have been discarded and disowned a decade ago. Seeing the grace of God soften their hearts and continue to change them, transforming them closer into the image of Christ living in them has been a tangible momentum of God’s love in my life. I don’t know how to distinguish their role in my recovery, because there wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for them. Their mercy to me was an extension of the mercy of God and if it weren’t for them I’d probably be dead!
8. If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would you say?
BJ: Get to know Jesus, cherish your loved ones and don’t do drugs!
Bradley (BJ) currently serves as the Worship Director for PBC. He is married to his wife, Alisha, who also serves at PBC. Thank you to Callie Hyde of Sincerely Callie for allowing us to use this interview.