The Church Lady is a Pitiful Ambassador

Businessman looking out office window

I ASKED A FRIEND ABOUT  HIS son who has struggled for at least a decade with an ugly dependency on crystal meth.

John’s story was first introduced when he came with his dad to a small Bible study I attended a few years back. He talked about the dangerous world he entered at the height of his addiction, which included ruthless drug dealers with guns and prostitutes in the worst part of the city. 


He was able to escape and we all praised Jesus for John’s recovery, so when I saw him again a year later at a Christmas party, I was surprised when he told me he had learned how to use meth in moderation. 


I listened carefully as he explained why he wasn’t addicted any longer and is now a casual user.


“Oh, no. I’m so sorry to hear this. You know that’s the drug talking,” I said with a sincere and compassionate tone. 


He changed the subject. Blah, blah, blah.


Thankfully, when I saw my friend again, he told me his son was doing well, that he got into rehab soon after I saw him at that Christmas party and has been clean ever since. He lost his job as an engineer and is now doing manual labor, but he’s grateful to be close to the Lord. 


“John told me about your conversation with him,” he said. “And he was really angry. He said you were condescending and judgmental. I told him he was wrong and that you were only trying to help him.” 


Condescending and judgmental. 


Those words haunted me for weeks because my other friend, also a brilliant engineer I mentioned to you in an earlier post Rinse and Repeat, now involved with crystal meth, won’t speak to me. 


I cannot stand losing a friend, but worse, I hate being wrongly accused when I know my motive is not to act as if I am better than anyone else. 

When I know that it is only by the grace of God that I am not fighting the same demons. 

When I know the depravity the Lord has shown clearly that lives within me when I give into my flesh and do not submit to Him. 

When I know that I am only one step from falling into the perversion and destruction found in the hidden desires of my soul. 


Maybe the Lord intended that I hear what John thought about me to remind me how the law, apart from love kills us.

Or, maybe it was because I asked the Lord to stop putting it on my heart to continue reaching out to my now silent friend, and to at least stop waking me in the middle of the night to pray for him. 


But, if I am to love my enemies, how can I expect the Lord to honor my request to stop loving my friend as I wallow in my self-respect and indignation for being ignored? 


His only answer to me has been to ‘Love him as I love him.’ ‘Love him anyway.’


And what’s with these engineers in my life? I find it too ironic that I had another engineer, living in my home fresh out of college while securing his first job. He was trying to keep his addiction to crystal meth hidden and couldn’t after being rushed to the hospital from an overdose—right under my nose. 


“I’m not addicted,” he said, “I just need to get to work.” He went on to lose the first two jobs he landed in a matter of six months, not because he’s lost his brilliant mind, but because meth comes at a high cost, addicted or not.


It is not ironic or coincidental. 


The Lord knows how much I valued intelligence, and he knows how proud I was all those years, before this wilderness journey when I boasted about why I never did illegal drugs. 


All those years I believed it was in my strength, my self-discipline, my self-will that kept me clean and sober. 

Love is the purpose of my command. Love comes from a pure heart. It comes from a good sense of what is right and wrong. It comes from faith that is honest and true.

I am thankful to Christ Jesus our Lord. He has given me strength.

Here is a saying that you can trust. It should be accepted completely. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the worst sinner of all. But for that very reason, God showed me mercy. And I am the worst of sinners.

He showed me mercy so that Christ Jesus could show that he is very patient. I was an example for those who would come to believe in him. Then they would receive eternal life. The eternal King will never die. He can’t be seen. He is the only God. Give him honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

My son Timothy, I am giving you this command. It is in keeping with the prophecies once made about you. By remembering them, you can fight the battle well.Then you will hold on to faith.

You will hold on to a good sense of what is right and wrong. Some have not accepted this knowledge of right and wrong. So they have destroyed their faith. They are like a ship that has sunk. 1Timothy 1:5,12,15-19 (NIRV)

2 Corinthians 3:3-6Romans 7:10-11Luke 6:37John 7:241 Peter 4:8-9Galatians 6:1-61 John 3:17Colossians 3:12-15

As always, it is my intent and hope that my words may encourage you wherever you are in your journey.

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.–Jesus (Mark 4:23)

Please share your thoughts in the comments below or go to the group tab above to share your own experience. It only takes a minute of your time to register (and you can be anonymous), and your words may help others.


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Long Beach Girl
June 7, 2020 10:07 am

This is a powerful account of real life. Thanks for sharing it so transparently and truthfully. I love your boldness, too.

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