“Draw Close to God, and He Will Draw Close to You”
Before and After—She Found the Power to Change
SANDRA, a woman in Mexico, described herself as the black sheep of her family. Rejection and lack of affection blighted her teenage years. She says: “I went through adolescence with a permanent feeling of emptiness and many doubts about my existence and about life.”
While in high school, Sandra began to drink the wine that her father had at home. In time, she began to buy her own bottles and became an alcoholic. “I had no incentive to live,” she admits. Out of desperation, Sandra turned to drugs. “The only thing that helped me to forget my problems,” she says, “was what I carried in my purse: a bottle, some pills, or a little marijuana.”
After Sandra finished medical school, she sank deeper into alcoholism. She attempted to end her life. But she survived.
Sandra looked in vain to many different religions for spiritual help and emotional support. Having lost hope and given in to despair, she repeatedly cried out to God: “Where are you? Why don’t you help me?” Her feelings of self-worth had reached an all-time low when one of Jehovah’s Witnesses spoke with her. This led to a personal Bible study. Sandra was deeply moved when she learned that “Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart.”—Psalm 34:18.
Her Bible teacher helped Sandra to understand that Jehovah God knows that we are vulnerable because of the sin and imperfection we inherited from Adam. Sandra realized that God understands that we cannot measure up perfectly to righteous standards. (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23; 5:12, 18) She was happy to learn that Jehovah does not dwell on our weaknesses, and he does not expect more of us than we can do. The psalmist asked: “If errors were what you watch, O Jah, O Jehovah, who could stand?”—Psalm 130:3.
An important Bible truth that warmed the heart of Sandra was the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Through it, Jehovah mercifully grants obedient humans an upright standing despite their imperfections. (1 John 2:2; 4:9, 10) Yes, we can get “the forgiveness of our trespasses” and thus be helped to overcome any feelings of worthlessness.—Ephesians 1:7.
Sandra learned valuable lessons from the example of the apostle Paul. He greatly appreciated God’s kindness in graciously forgiving his past errors and supporting his hard fight to overcome recurring weaknesses. (Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 15:9, 10) Paul corrected his course of life, ‘pummeled his body and led it as a slave’ in order to stay on the path approved by God. (1 Corinthians 9:27) He did not let his sinful inclinations lead him as a slave.
Sandra’s weaknesses plagued her, but she kept fighting them. She prayed earnestly for Jehovah’s help to overcome them and sought his mercy. (Psalm 55:22; James 4:8) Sensing God’s personal interest in her, Sandra was able to turn her life around. “I have the joy of teaching others the Bible full-time,” she says. Sandra had the privilege of helping her older sister and her younger sister to get to know Jehovah. As she ‘works what is good,’ she also volunteers her medical skills at conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses.—Galatians 6:10.
What about Sandra’s addictions? She confidently says: “My mind is clear. I no longer drink, smoke, or take drugs. I do not need them. I found what I was looking for.”
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“I found what I was looking for”
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Bible Principles at Work
Following are some Bible principles that have helped many break free from defiling addictions:
“Let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) God blesses those who have cleansed themselves of defilement, avoiding unclean practices.
“The fear of Jehovah means the hating of bad.” (Proverbs 8:13) Reverential fear of God helps a person to break free from bad habits, including drug abuse. Besides pleasing Jehovah, the changed person is protected against fearsome diseases.
“Be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers.” (Titus 3:1) In many locations, possession or use of certain drugs is a violation of the law. True Christians do not possess or use illegal drugs.