Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday June 11, 2016

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

It’s an epidemic, Amigos

If you pay attention at all, you have heard something about the epidemic levels of drug addiction and death by overdose in our nation. The CDC says that in the U.S. about 80 people die every day from opiate overdose alone. That is a remarkable number. And it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface. Alcohol, meth, hallucinogens, etc. are destroying lives even faster. For a pastor, the numbers have faces. I see people whom I love relapse. Some go to jail, some to detox, some to their graves. I see wives and mothers and children weeping and worrying and feeling guilty. Simply put, I hate addiction.

Over the years we have spent a good deal of time and effort in trying to help addicts get and stay clean. One tool we use is called “7 Principles of Recovery.” This is a discipleship program for addicts (or anyone, actually) who want to stay free. These principles are found in some form in all effective programs. Here are the 7 principles we use:

1. Deflation: Admission – Desperation – Willingness

a. Admission: Destruction of the alibi system, a breakdown of denial, and an admission of the need for help.

b. Desperation: The end of hope in self-effort and ability.

c. Willingness: The motivation to take difficult action that springs from the recognition that there are no alternatives or compromises.

2. Faith in God: Dependence on God, not self. A commitment to pursue a spiritual way of life.

3. Accountability: Using other people as an external control while internal controls are established.

4. Self-examination: Developing the habit of questioning our own motives and thinking patterns, then allowing God to correct areas found lacking.

5. Restitution and restoration: Taking positive steps to right wrongs and restore relationships with people. Making repentance a spiritual reality, not a mental exercise.

6. Commitment to ongoing spiritual growth. A defined commitment to specific activities, including church involvement, which enhance and encourage spiritual development. Recovery is a process, not an event.

7. Service to others. You cannot keep that which you do not give away.

Somebody Said: Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism. Carl Jung

Scripture Reading: Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32 NKJV)

I firmly believe these principles will help us all to live free indeed. We have materials for small groups, online courses in ministering to addictions, and books with biblical information on the subject. If you have reason to be interested in how to live free, visit our website at www.fcftucson.org, call our office at 520-792-3238, check out our classes on www.fmtionline.com, or simply reply to this email with your questions.

Pastor Virgil Stokes


Virgil Stokes
FCF of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745

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