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Pastoral

As church leaders we often find ourselves confronted with any of a wide range of pastoral issues where we feel we lack expertise.  The features in this section will give you many suggestions for what you might do (at least until the experts arrive!)

You can see the full range at livingleadership.squarespace.com/growing-in-pastoring-

Addiction - Garbage, Grace or Glory? Introduction

[Your Name Here]

Introduction: Reflections for People Grappling with Addiction
Compiled by David Partington

You can download the PDF of this resource here. 

 This is not a textbook. I don’t do ‘technical’ and I don’t pretend I know all about the issues that people face. However I do have some understanding of how people get so hurt that they turn to ‘things’ they shouldn’t get involved in. Things like pornography and anorexia and drugs and drink and gambling.

Sadly I’m also aware that there are far too many Christians with those same problems, most of them living behind a façade of spirituality with a deep sense of shame and unworthiness. They have chosen garbage instead of grace and glory.

I’m happy for you to suggest that my gloomy view is due to my working for over 30 years with people with addiction related problems. It may also be that some could say that my perspective tends towards the negative because I personally chose garbage rather than grace and glory whilst I was a Christian.

Whether I’m right or wrong is not the issue, if only one person finds here something that enables them to find the freedom God has for them. What I’m seeking to do is acknowledge the garbage for what it is, whilst explaining and rejoicing in living a new life liberated and empowered by the resurrection life-force of Jesus.

Is this easy? No! But then neither is living in the dark places that sin can take a Christian into. That which we once thought would bring relief and release sooner or later became our slave master. That which promised and gave excitement brought with it a deep sense of shame and despair.

If you are thinking about reading further let me assure you about one critical issue - this is not theory I’m writing about. Rather it comes out of my own and others’ experience of failing as a Christian. Of failing, despite knowing I was ‘saved.’  Of being involved in a lifestyle which I knew ran counter to God’s grace and love in my life and circumstances.

So it’s a feature which finds answers in the midst of rebellion and backsliding, and yet looks back since then at over 30 years of wonderful grace and glimpses of glory. It’s about my journey, and the journey of others who walked away from God, and yet finally realised He was chasing them, and let Him have His way in their lives.

  David Partington

© David Partington and Friends

Continue to Section 1: A Life-Controlling Problem?