Ask God to show you your gifts, to direct you to a place where you can serve, and to grant you the courage to follow His leading wherever it may take you. Then ask your pastor how you could use what you have to reach out to others. It could bring healing to many, including you.

The Big Lie

When I worked in drug and alcohol treatment centers, it was a frequent occurrence for people to feel completely hopeless one month, only to consider themselves called to be an alcohol and drug counselor the next. Rather than work on their own healing, they got prematurely involved with others. They often relapsed into their addiction because they started working on others and stopped working on themselves. No one should be so involved in helping others too soon.

No one should wait too long to begin reaching out, either. Yes, helping too much too early produces an unhealthy preoccupation with others at the expense of halting your pursuit of healing. But waiting too long to serve may prevent you from experiencing the final stages of healing. Don’t believe the lie, “Until I am completely healed and strong there is no place for me to serve God.” It’s imperative for your own healing to start reaching out. Begin slowly and thoughtfully, and progress as you’re able. I pray God will grant you the wisdom, discernment, and courage necessary to make healing choices.

Adapted from Healing Is A Choice: Ten Decisions That Will Transform Your Life & Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them, by Steve Arterburn. Nashville: Nelson Books, 2005.

Stephen Arterburn is the founder of New Life Clinics, the largest provider of Christian counseling and treatment in North America. As host of the daily New Life Live! radio program, he is heard nationally on over one hundred and eighty stations and at Steve is the creator of the Women of Faith® Conferences and is the author/coauthor of over thirty books, including Healing is a Choice, Lose it For Life, The God of Second Chances, Every Man’s Battle, and Avoiding Mr. Wrong.