A Christian Interventionist

Dr. Ellis discusses the fact that very religious people of deep and genuine faith get sick, have accidents, die, and become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Faith is no insurance policy against the hard troubles of life. So we must never let a misplaced disappointment in God or our own faith be a barrier to seeking the help that God provides.

I tread carefully here because I never want to appear to be marketing my faith. When I was a pastor for over thirty years, people seeking good counselors would say they want a Christian counselor, as if that assured effectiveness. It does not. My reply was always “you want a good counselor.” Of course, it was not a challenge to find a good, Christian counselor.

The same criteria apply to my work as a clinical interventionist. My faith deeply informs my theory and practice. My work is not merely a position to occupy but a calling to fulfill. My work is a direct expression of my conviction that addiction is a clear assault on the soul of an individual, draining the spirit and rendering them deaf to the joys of God. It is fear, darkness, and doubt.

Intervention is clearly a spiritual negotiation in which we’re trying to bring the light and hope of recovery to an individual through focused love, grace, and prayer. In the room where an intervention occurs you can “feel” the tension between the darkness and light. That moment when an addicted individual says “yes” is truly miraculous.

My Christian faith is hardly ever important to the addict. As I said earlier, they are not in a condition to accurately assess themselves spiritually. However, in my initial assessment with the family, I probe the addicted individual’s faith. Even if they attend services only on Easter and Christmas, that tells me a spark of faith is there. It can be stirred through prayer in our preparations for the intervention and through words of grace and hope during the intervention.

I also include prayers for the family to pray in the days leading up to the intervention. Fear and doubt, sometimes anger and resentment, have dulled their spiritual condition. They need help from God. Prayers give them strength and peace so that the intervention itself is a spiritual endeavor.

If finding a Christian interventionist is important to you, I assure that I understand your convictions and can help you go through this process in a way that draws on God’s strength, compassion, and grace.

You can watch a brief presentation of my story on my website where I talk about how addiction took over my life and how God restored me through recovery and called me to this present chapter of my ministry. I’m very honored and blessed to help people find new life through recovery.

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