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1. We Don’t Judge – A lack of discernment and a “come as you are” attitude is practiced much too often by Christian rehab programs. The result being that our programs are full of people who could care less if they or those around them, succeed in their recovery. (Their only goal is for the program to serve them, pulling attention and energy away from those who really need us as they fill their bellies at the same time.) Although just about everyone who checks in says they need help, Christian programs would do well to still practice discernment, looking for those who truly need Christ and at the same time watching out for those who only want a snack.
2. Follow The Leader- Most programs are desperate to move people up into leadership so that they can help carry the weight of the daily duties. If anyone is able to stay within program protocol for more than three months, showing morality and cleanliness, their usually trusted to work in leadership and exercise authority over the new guys coming in. (Basically, their given the keys to the kingdom without second thought.) While I agree with leadership, I disagree with it for those who are as old in their recovery as a baby is from his mother’s womb. Most addicts are desperate to prove themselves, and paranoid of losing ground once they do. Hence, they will abuse their power if it’s given to early during their recovery. And by the way, Morality doesn’t mean there’s been a heart of flesh given by God, and clean time doesn’t indicate the fruit of the Spirit either. Be aware of ravenous recovering wolves, coming to you in clean sheep’s clothing.
3. Bullying- If someone “hard” or “street” is allowed into the program, without careful watch, they’ll dominate those around them, smiling at you while they do it. Some guys look at rehabs, especially Christian rehabs, as a place to serve time and prey on the weak. Going back to number one on our list, be wary of the street, bully mentality. There are people in the program who truly need our help, and most of the time it isn’t the head strong one of the group. If being hard is praised over being Christ like, watch out.
4. Good Works Willy- Look at Willy, He’s always working long and hard hours. He’s always going the extra mile, doing nice things for everyone. Willy works so hard the cross itself doesn’t look difficult anymore. Willy goes to bed at six O clock PM because he works so hard, gosh darn it. Willy is just a chip off the old working block. What can we do with Willy? I know! Let’s exploit Willy and send him out to the community to represent our program. After all, Willy Work Force wouldn’t be so full of “good works” if it weren’t for the Lord…………right? Wrong! An addict can work harder than Donald Trump himself when their off drugs, because work can be a drug in itself. Don’t be fooled by Good Works Willy because he could be fooling himself by his good works. He could be crashing right before your eyes, and in desperate need of your stepping in to help him.
5. I Read Till I Bleed- Be wary of the always reading but never producing recovering addict. Christians tend to equate head knowledge with belief, but if you’re recovering Christian is reading till he’s bleeding and never producing anything he’s reading, WAKE UP!
6. Self Confidence- An addict has a horrifying way of selling themselves and those around them that their “good” enough to handle things on their own, especially in Christian rehabs. After a couple of bible studies, two strong cups of coffee, and a lot of justification, the addict will want to take on the world, the flesh and the devil all by himself. (All for God’s glory of course……….yeah) You must fight the urge to buy in to them until you see a true love and a true consistency in their Christian walk.
7. Quit Time- Because a recovering addict is shut down and quiet, reading and praying at ease, people think their doing well. The truth is if you don’t know who these people are, and how they think, you have no clue where they’re at. Quietness isn’t righteousness.
8. Timmy Talkative- There’s also those recovery fellows who are loud and very talkative. (Hmmm, I think I know one!) They will tell you everything you want to hear, mirroring your every religious movement, but be on guard. If he or she is always talking and never listening, they might not be as far a long as you think. You’re looking for a teachable, broken heart that desires Christ, (The Word) not a head as big as a hot air balloon at the Macy’s recovery parade. Speaking isn’t Sanctification.
9. The Teachers Pet- Watch out for the guy who clings to your hip from the moment he checks into your program. If he’s stroking your ego it will be tempting to take him under your wing, but don’t do it lest he turn and manipulate you by his flattery. (Never forget this same guy was possibly shooting heroine and abusing those around him two days before he met you.) A quick love, in Christian programs, might be a false love. These guys already know that Christians look for morality, and they’re quick to scheme anyone willing to listen. We want to be careful to practice love to those around us, preaching Christ crucified, but if you buy into Mr. Flatter to quickly you, and those around you might be in danger of being praised right out the front door.
10. Rapid Repentance- If there’s a sudden outward change in an addict, yet no opening up from them, no sorrow over sin from them, and no desire from them to talk about Christ; you might have a classic case of false program repentance (FPR) on your hand. I don’t think recovering addicts should always wallow in their pasts, but I also think a repentance that involves no true regret is suspect to being a sham. The Christian walk is a slow grind, some grow fast and some don’t, but don’t be fooled by the one who tears out the recovery gates at rapid speed. The race isn’t to the swift in recovery; it’s to the one who endures till the end, so don’t lose sight of everyone else in front of you just because there’s one Rico in the group that has recovered O’ so quickly.
In closing, I don’t want it to seem as if I’m saying we should eliminate all those in our Christian programs who are difficult cases. (We’re all fallen in Adam and in desperate need of the righteousness of Christ, everyone one of us.) My intent in typing this was to point out that we should practice a lot more discernment in our Christian programs than what goes on today. The Gospel should be preached and the sheep should be protected. We should have mercy, but we should also have brains.
Sola Deo Gloria!