“I will . . . lie down in peace . . . for you alone . . . make me dwell in safety” – Psalm 4:8
Billy Graham says, by any measure drug and alcohol dependence has become one of our greatest social problems. The issue isn't just illegal drugs; many depend on alcohol or over-the-counter or prescription drugs just to face each day or to get to sleep at night. We are not the masters of our fate.
We think we control our lives---but we don't. In an instant life can radically change---a car accident, a heart attack, a pink slip, a child's raging fever. Frustrated researchers conquer one deadly virus, only to discover one even more lethal.
I am not a doctor, of course, and I fully realize some drugs have a legitimate place under careful medical supervision. But in my experience far too many people turn first to drugs or alcohol instead of to God. Rather than face their problems and deal with them (with God’s help), they use drugs or alcohol to escape.
Opportunities never look as good coming as they do going. And they wait for no one, so you need to be attentive and grab them. They come in many forms, and they can come from any direction. But one thing's for certain: they can be seen and seized only in the present. Whatever has happened in your life, has happened. And since you can't undo it no matter how hard you try, wipe the slate clean and go on to what's next. We all make mistakes.
When it comes to choosing friends, Author Dr. Charles Townsend says look for: (1) People who influence you to be the person God intended. 'As iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other' (Proverbs 27:17 CEV). Relationships are the tools God uses to do this. When you're with somebody, ask yourself, 'Do I like who I am when I'm around this person? Am I more open, loving and honest? Or do I not like what I see in myself?' Choose people who make you a better person. (2) People who provide grace for the energy drain. When you're empty you need to be refuelled physically, spiritually and relationally. So surround yourself with friends who will listen, encourage and be there for you. (3) People who let you be real. 'A friend loves at all times' (Proverbs 17:17 NKJV). The best relationships are those where you know you're loved, you're free to be yourself, you don't have to put on an act and you can be honest about the difficult aspects of life. There's comfort and normality in friendships where you can be authentic. (4) People who help you grow in faith. You need friends who encourage you to pray, read the Bible and help you to see the 'big picture' concerning what's important in your life.