Encouragement and Fellowship

thUDMBK2HCFeeling alone and isolated can be bad enough when there are no “major” issues in our lives, but it can be a very serious and dangerous place to be when we are dealing with addictions and compulsive behaviors.  Isolation breeds depression and can lead a recovering addict to look to the wrong places for relief and, eventually, (re)turn to self-medicating and falling back into addiction(s) – either the old ones or new ones.

In Hebrews 10:24 & 25, Scripture tells us, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”  (NKJV)  Unfortunately, this can be hard when one is isolated due to corruption in the church, or conflicting beliefs, and/or physical circumstances.

In contrast, it is refreshing and renewing to come along side to assist one another, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”  (Proverbs 27:17)  This truth was brought home to me this past weekend in a very tangible way.  While at an annual Homeschool convention with my daughter we met and spent a few hours talking with a like-minded Brother and his family.  The time spent was very refreshing for my daughter and me in that it showed us we were not alone, and that there are others out there with the same beliefs and are walking in the same path(s).

Unfortunately, they live in another state and we will not be able to see each other frequently but, we can still keep in contact to encourage one another until (hopefully) we can meet again at next year’s convention:  “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.  Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

These verses from Ecclesiastes are particularly applicable in the realm of Recovery and tie in with past posts pertaining to accountability, etc.   We are strongest when we are able to partner with someone who shares the same goals and concerns, and is willing to come alongside to assist in those times when we falter.  Such partnerships are key to recovery, but they are the strongest and most effective when God is included, making a “threefold cord” for us to use as a life-line.

Find yourself an accountability partner, someone you can trust to be charity-1299988_960_720there to encourage you and to help you back onto your feet should you stumble and fall on your recovery journey.  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  (Proverbs 17:17)

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect & Guns’n’Hoses
2 Corinthians 1:3-4


About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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