by Dr. Paul Hardy
Founder and Executive Director– Recovery for Life Ministries
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him publicly, speaking strongly against what he was doing, for it was very wrong. Galatians 2: 11-14
• “Our son has gone out on a binge again and we don’t know what to do.”
• “Bill has been arrested again and we don’t know if we should bail him out or not.”
• “I need to go to rehab right now, I have no insurance and I need someone to help me get there.”
• “Linda said she might take her life tonight and we don’t know what to do with her, she refuses to go to the hospital.”
• “I’ve been kicked out of my apartment and I don’t know where to go.”
These are the calls that we receive weekly at Recovery for Life. (www.myrecoveryforlife.com) People are in crisis, they’re confused between what their mind tells them to do about a person they love and what their heart dictates. They truly “love their friend or loved one to death” and they are loving them into a death mode spiral.
Someone has to intervene.
In our text above we see that the Apostle Paul said he “had” to oppose Peter because he was making a serious mistake. Peter had made a decision that was going to affect the entire Christian culture. Others must have been standing there watching as Peter walked across the room, signaling that he would go his own way. Paul couldn’t take it any longer. He had to do something about the situation.
There comes a time when the people surrounding an addict cannot take the behavior any longer. They jump in, they cry out. Often they fail because they don’t have the strength to stick with the tough decisions. The consequences mount and life begins to unravel. It’s time for intervention. Types of interventions:
1. Self Intervention by Self-confrontation, ASK the right questions.
When a person becomes sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, they may wake up. Possibly after hearing some key phrase or the advice of a friend, the light bulb comes on and they get it. As this person talks within themselves, they begin to face the lies they have come to believe about themselves, their addiction and the world around them.
“You look pitiful,” a good friend said as he walked in to work at the bank. Was it the bloodshot eyes? Possibly that he staggered a bit. “It really made me stop for a moment and think about how bad I looked.” Unfortunately, it was only for a minute.
Confronting ourselves is not an easy thing to do. Our hearts can be most deceptive. That’s why using the Word of God as a filter is best. The truth of God’s Word never changes. As we expose our hearts and minds to God’s Words, thoughts and ideas, we are changed.
2. Human Intervention, DO something to get ready now.
Someone confronts the user because they cannot take the behavior any longer, and actually threatens to do something about it. It may be frustrating or even make them angry that relatives, friends, or co-workers would actually confront them for their behavior. Yet, what a flattery that people might still care enough to express what they see.
When family, friends, the legal system or employers step in they want action, they expect to see a change. They are no longer willing to continue on business as usual. There may be victims involved in your lifestyle. Children or spouses may need protection from the results of addictive behavior.
3. God-Intervention, PRAY hard for them to be receptive.
God orchestrates situations in people’s lives so that there are consequences that can no longer be denied. God is big enough and creative enough to get a person’s attention. He knows how to provide opportunities to help people look upward. It might be a D.U.I., a jail stay, or perhaps a child that says, “Mommy, you scare me when you drink so much.”
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will provide alternatives, prod, encourage, but He does not go against our will. God does intervene in ways that cause us to understand. Mat made a jailhouse conversion because for the first time, he said, “I had to sit there with no distractions and think about where my life was headed. God met me where I was in that jail cell.”
Think through every possible outcome and issue. If you do not feel fully prepared to intervene in a person’s life it is almost always better to wait. If you haven’t prepared a list of realistic consequences, don’t even think about it. If you don’t have multiple rehab options, forget it for a while. If you and other relatives are not strong enough to enforce the new rules, then you’re not ready.
When intervening in someone’s life, there may arise a fear of rejection by the user. Addicts are gifted manipulators. They may threaten, become enraged or just push back at everything. When intervening in a consumer’s life, you cannot be afraid of what they might think.
Realize Others Are Drowning as Well:
Who is being most affected by the consequences of this person’s actions? Who will be left behind to pick up the pieces? Who will be in therapy next year explaining to someone how their lives were ruined? Magnify the consequences your behavior will have in the next generations!
We mentioned the importance of being prepared before going into an intervention. You dare not do this alone. It is best to seek the help of someone who is experienced and trained to deal with these matters.
An Intervention Coach, CONTACT one now.
I, Dr. Paul Hardy, (Certified Interventionist) have been doing interventions one-on-one and in groups for over 15 years. I have experienced most every possible scenario. Cursing, rage, people leaving, ceaseless crying and the all-famous blaming everyone else in the room. Believe me, you are better off with a professional in the process who knows how to respond to a variety of reactions. Find a certified interventionist in your area.
An Intervention Team, put the right PEOPLE together.
The people you bring to an intervention are key to the success of the process. If the people involved are codependent on the user’s acceptance or if they are not willing to enforce the boundaries, the intervention will be of little help at all.
People do get better! We have dozens of success stories of people in whose lives an intervention worked to get them to the next level of freedom. As the saying goes, “if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.” Let’s do something different.
This blog article was written by Dr. Paul Hardy, a champion for the cause of broken and addicted people. For the last 12 years, he and his wife Suzie have dedicated their lives to helping people break free from the bondages of addictions and compulsive behaviors. Together, they founded Recovery for Life, a non-profit that ministers to over 300 people a week in the Virginia Beach, Tidewater area. He is also the Director of the Life Counseling and Recovery Center of Eastern Virginia. Visit their Recovery for Life website (formerly Recovery for the City)