Riding A Rollercoaster

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. —Galatians 6:9

If you love someone who struggles with a substance-abuse problem, you know that your emotions and his can be like riding a rollercoaster—up and down. Today he wants help; tomorrow he’s drinking or is high on drugs again. Today she’s being honest; tomorrow she’s running from the truth.

The Holy Spirit helps us learn how to love people like that, even in their sins and struggles. Here are a few principles we can put into practice:

  • Treat the person with respect. Be gentle when trying to restore him (Galatians 6:1). But don’t do for him what he should do for himself. Don’t get in the way of the consequences that God can use to bring change.
  • Remember that you do not have the power to change another person. Instead, ask God to help you become the person He wants you to be (vv.4-5).
  • Reach out in love. Seek God’s wisdom in what to say and do in each encounter (James 1:5). Then rebuke or be silent—in love.
  • Depend on God. You will make mistakes. But anchor yourself in God’s Word and continually commit yourself and your loved one to the Lord in prayer (Philippians 4:6).

Making some of these choices can help to slow down the rollercoaster ride of changing emotions.

Anne Cetas

Love is an attitude, love is a prayer
  For someone in sorrow, a heart in despair;
  Love is goodwill for the gain of another,
  Love suffers long with the fault of a brother.

Anon.

Love helps people even when it hurts.

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