"Druggie" Past – "In Recovery" Future

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I had to go and observe family court proceedings for a class I had back in May. We had to observe two hours of family court. The two hours I was there we observed three different cases. The longest one, taking up about an hour and forty five minutes, involved a 10 month old girl who was currently living with the parents of her mom. Her mom had been incarcerated for drugs and her father is in recovery for drugs and alcohol. They were in court because the father, who claims to be 3 years clean, wanted custody of his daughter until the final ruling on who was to have custody.

As I listened to the arguments against the father, I began to realize that no matter how hard he tried, there were people that were not going to let him move beyond his past. Despite his efforts to do what everyone wanted of him, since he had a history with drugs and alcohol, he was no good. His references, most of which were also friends in recovery, were also discredited since they had at one time abused drugs. I got the impression that once you had these iniquities against you, there was no hope. No matter what this man did from here on out, he had a label tatooed on his forehead that said,”DRUGGIE. Even if there was one of those red circles with the line through it over the top which says, “IN RECOVERY.” This man may still have things he needs to work out but the argmuments against him seemed to make it clear that despite his efforts to be freed from drugs and alcohol, he would remain a slave to it forever.

I don’t know if this man was a Christian or not but I think that as a Christian, I am called to listen to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” As a minister of reconciliation we see the potential of the person, not the past. We see the hope of a man, not his history.


About joshkellar

I'm married to an incredible woman of God and have two daughters that love to laugh and delight in the Lord. My goal in life is to bring others into closer relationship with God by engaging them in His story as we journey together in a faith-filled community. The basis for every decision I make in life comes back to my calling to share the love of God with those around me. My hope is that at every opportunity I will encourage others into a greater lifelong journey of discipleship.

Posted on June 2, 2005, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Laura Lathrop (yankeeoregon1984)

    thank you for your comment, and for pointing out the apparent hypocrisy of my assertions; I was wondering if someone would notice….;-)

  2. Hey Josh.Your Blog looks great. I agree with what you said about letting go of the past, being anew, it sure is hard to forgive even when it isn’t our place….So did the Dad get custody or not….

  3. Josh, That is an interesting point about people who have been through rehabilitation. As I was reading about the trial, I was thinking “I hope the father was not granted custody…” Unfortunately, the actions of others taint our view of people who are genuinely trying and have potentially pure intentions.

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