A hiker was walking down a country road one day when he heard a voice in the distance. “Help me! Someone help me now!”
As the hiker followed the direction of the voice, he eventually came upon a horrifying scene. A man had fallen into a sea of quicksand, and was flailing helplessly as he slowly sank toward a terrible death.
The hiker had to make a quick decision. He had two options:
- Throw the man a rope and pull him to safety.
- Lecture the man on what he had done wrong.
Too often, we spend too much time telling others what they did wrong, and not enough time throwing them a rope. That is especially true with addicts. While it may be true that they have made a lot of bad choices, it is also true that they need a rope.
Nehemiah understood this principle when he prayed, “Whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times!” (Nehemiah 9:28).
Recovery Step: When you see someone in trouble, offer them a rope rather than a speech.