You’re the same!
· We all have different struggles, but we are all sinners in need of rescue
You’re not the saviour – Jesus is
· Beware the temptation to make yourself the savior – keep pointing others back to Him
Share the mess… long-term
· You don’t need a PhD in counselling. You do need prayer, prayer and more prayer.
· Extra help may be needed in times of transition, eg; moving from hospital or counselling to dealing with life.
· Relapses etc – these are a part of recovery and are not the end of the world. In fact, sometimes this is where we can learn most about what God is doing.
· be there for the long haul and recognise that as behaviours improve the person may be feeling much worse and need more support – remember these are outlets for a lot of emotions that need to go somewhere
· don’t try to guilt-trip into recovery
Sharing is huge – for them and for you!
· Celebrate it. And praise God that you have the kind of relationship where sharing is possible.
· Little steps are big steps. Again, celebrate them.
Remember they need an outlet for these feelings
· Telling someone to “stop” a certain behaviour will leave them with the same
Invite into healthy community:
· as a church, provide a safe place for people to talk about dangerous feelings – a culture of grace and openness, discouraging cliques
· Don’t get sucked in to their world – draw them out
· Don’t promise secrecy
· Set and maintain clear and consistent limits. So, if you are not willing to take crisis calls after nine in the evening, than indicate this to your friends. If you can only offer support over the telephone, rather than in person, be clear about that.
· be aware of dangers of copy-catting behavior, especially amongst younger believers
· focus on person not just behaviour
· use any expert help that is available, but remember that listening and being available are huge ways to help
· grace very hard to get – it is vital that we preach it and keep preaching it and showing it
You need the help of others including professionals (physical and spiritual)
· GP is usually a good first port of call
· Counsellors etc – great, but wear your gospel glasses!