In the middle of Jesus’ public ministry, we find this startling verse: “Many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66).
I would find that disheartening. My initial response would be to chase after those who had dropped out. Not so with Jesus. In the latter part of John 6, we find that Jesus made zero effort to chase down the deserters. Instead, he turned 100 percent of his attention to the 12 disciples who were still standing with him.
If you are helping others find recovery, I offer you three suggestions.
Know that some will turn back.
Focus on who you have left, rather than who you have lost.
Don’t blame yourself for the decisions of others.
Recovery Step: Nothing will help you secure your own sobriety like helping someone else secure theirs. But not everyone will stick with the program. Be okay with that.
Mark and Beth Denison, married for 36 years, launched There’s Still Hope as a national movement to call men and women into lives of sexual integrity. Their ministry offers 90-day recovery plans for addicts and one-on-one and group coaching for addicts and their spouses. TSH also produces resources for pastors and churches to confront the porn epidemic that is destroying so many lives.
Dr. Denison was a senior pastor for over 30 years, NBA chaplain, and board chairman at Houston Baptist University three times. With a Master’s Degree in Addiction Recovery, Mark is a certified PSAP and active member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Mark has written four books on recovery: Porn in the Pew, 365 Days to Sexual Integrity, A 90-Day Recovery Guide, and 40 Days to Porn-Free Living. His latest book, Jesus on the 12 Steps, will be released later this year.