Qualified to Encourage
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Maybe we've been treated like we're subhuman. Perhaps we've been despised and rejected because of the shameful effects of our addictions. We may feel like we aren't educated enough to help anyone recover. Don't they need a professional trained to deal with these issues? What do we have to offer that could really help?
The Samaritans of Jesus' day were a mixed race. They worshiped the Lord, but worshiped pagan gods as well (see 2 Kings 17:24-41). For these two reasons, they were hated and persecuted. Jesus tells a story about a Jew who was attacked and left bleeding on a roadside. "By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him" (Luke 10:31-33). It was the Samaritan who helped the man recover.
The two spiritual professionals looked on the man's injuries but weren't moved to do anything. Perhaps they had never really suffered themselves! The despised Samaritan could feel deep pity because he knew what suffering and rejection were like. Who is better equipped to help a hurting person than someone who has been hurt himself and is able to display sincere compassion?
There is no one better qualified to help than someone who's already been there.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.