Opioids and Our Community

I attended with Mike Grady and Matt Brown and others from our church the “Heroin – Opioid Panel Presentation,” Thursday May 5, at the Brookline Event Center.  I was hoping to speak at the event but that didn’t work out. This would have been my thoughts especially following the 2 plus hours of presentations and discussions.

New Hampshire has the second to lowest spiritual/religious observance in the country and yet one of the highest in drug addiction. Any connection? I know this is a complex issue with no simplistic answer. However, absent from the discussion was the spiritual, moral component. Certainly the addictions become over time like a disease changing the way the brain functions but it is more than that and to miss the moral component is to miss the hope for freedom. What was absent from the discussion was what many recognize as a lack of purpose among the younger generation. We know man’s ultimate purpose – or as AA calls it a higher power – I would call it the need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We were created to pursue the glory of our great God and King. It is for the glory of Christ we live and serve and find joy in this world.

Certainly societal conditions and expectations often leave parents either relationally absent or in a frenzy attempting to provide every advantage/opportunity for their children. Either extreme leaves kids vulnerable to peer pressure. Peer pressure is real and so the need for a strong parent- child relationship is essential. Parents are called to love and lead and train their children. This is not something we can pass off to a DARE officer, or the school system. The buck stops at the door of our home. We must love our children and make every effort to give Godly wisdom and direction to their lives.  There is more needed than just keeping our children busy with sports and after school activities. Our children need to see our walk and love for God. They need to see the love for Christ in us and to a lost world.

What is my take away? We all possess an addictive nature. We are all vulnerable to addictive behavior.  In the words of my friend Edwin, “We all have our cheese.”  None of us are above the need for help and freedom from the power of our flesh. We have in our fellowship those who struggle with addictions. As believers, we are in Ed Welch’s words both in need ourselves and in need of helping others. Galatians 6:1–2 (ESV) 1Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. We all need the love and care of accountability to one another in the family of God.

So, I leave with a calling to love and care for those trapped in the web of addiction and a call to extol the ultimate hope in the good news of Jesus death and resurrection and lastly a call to pray more earnestly for parents raising children in this dark and turbulent world. This is my hope and I trust the hope of those in the family of Faith Baptist that we would join hands and hearts in this great calling to reach both to those within the fellowship and those outside to a community in such need.