The Tragedy of Opioid Abuse, Part 3 February 17 2017
(Part of BCF’S blog series: “Society, Selflessness, and the Scriptures")
In Part 1 of this blog series on opioids, we were reminded from the Scriptures that we as believers in Christ are not to allow ourselves to be controlled by alcohol, and by extension, other substances (Ephesians 5:18). We learned that we have tremendous hope, because God enables us to choose to get out from under a sin under whose control we have placed ourselves (Romans 6:12-13, 16). In addition, God’s Word provides specific guidance for how to resist temptation and have victory over sin, in the power of the Holy Spirit. An important part of this involves the “put-offs” and “put-ons” - putting off the old, sinful practices and instead deliberately putting on the new, righteous practices in their place (Ephesians 4:22-24). Further, it may be a God-given opportunity for us to introduce an unbeliever to Christ, as they struggle with drug abuse and are desperate for help and hope.
In Part 2 we mentioned in the discussion about “put-offs” and “put-ons” that the collateral damage of drug abuse is often human relationships that need to be repaired, forgiveness that needs to be given and requested, and godly communications that need to be restored. The Christian faith is based on the forgiveness that we have received from the Father. This forgiveness, undeserved as it is, should be a powerful motivation for us to forgive others. In fact, the Scriptures state this very directly in Ephesians 4:32:
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other as God in Christ has also forgiven you.”
God’s sacrifice of His own Son on the cross is the ultimate example we are to follow in our forgiveness of others. Forgiving others is also the only human responsibility that Jesus stated in the Lord’s prayer: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” It is assumed in the prayer that we will be people who are ready to forgive. Forgiveness may not be deserved, and it may not be easy, but understanding and practicing forgiveness is an essential part of restoring relationships.
Rather than elaborate further on forgiveness in this blog, we will end by giving you a link to two teaching videos recently made available by BCF, the first on biblical forgiveness (when someone has sinned against you) and the second on reconciliation (what to do when you have sinned against someone else). These videos were recorded during a live webcast in 2016 and will lead you through a biblical explanation of these topics, with a focus on application to life situations. They contain more than four hours of teaching by Bob Schneider and Shashi Smith. You will want to have your Bible and notebook handy, and you can view the two videos in shorter segments if you wish.
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God bless you as you learn and apply these principles.