Loving again

Now there is this man who has struggled with drug abuse for many years. He wanders when he will be completely free of it. He remembered the first time he tried out of curiosity. Now, he is hooked and has tried enough with all the possibilities around him to overcome it. He is tired. At times he thought he is free but the desire would flares up pushing his body into a state of so much hunger that his longing for it cuts every thought that tries to fight back. The body no more hides its craves. And in times like this, his dear ones throw words into his ears hoping to change his mind, but the beautifully crafted words to let him know their disagreement puff up before a cold heart. He hears no more. Then after the rebuke, scores of strategies lined up. Some even consider a theological studies, which could be a rehabilatation centre for him. The mental trauma and physical torture did not succeed in melting the cold heart, for it seemed heartless and felt no more. The words and reactions of his dear ones has now pushed him more and more deeper into a dark pit. The words that were thought to be best did not find wisdom here. The layout plans did not work out. But in this battle he goes from anger to loneliness and now to fear of loosing every single hope. And he cries out what has become of him that he do not understand his life anymore.
Now there is another man in the neighbourhood who, by peer pressure, got into drug abuse. It is becoming evident of his addiction to drugs. The dear ones are worried. With much consideration, they tried to help him understand its danger with soft and gentle words. These words that could melt the ice cold heart never stay in his head nor shake him a little. Now the softness in the approach numbs his heart slowly in sensing the danger of the outcome. He marches slowly to a desert where he will see no way nor could be able to make any way out.
In the above situation, we ask why rebuke could not bring healing and a  warm spoken words could not stop an avoidable situation. What has gone wrong?
Life is hard when we ourselves are not perfect but more harder when people around us are also not perfect. If there is one thing in life that makes life’s burden heavy, it is carrying the burden of another one. For you sacrifice your well being for another fellow, when you can enjoy your state. The burdens can be many. There may be someone struggling to help his dear one overcome drug abuse, or in re-building a broken relationship, or in helping a lost brother find a way.
Life is not just like mathematics where we can apply formulae to problems that comes on the way. If so, life could have been so simple and less problematic. But life, in its beauty, is unique in itself when the strength is proved at its weakest point.
Looking at the situation of the first case the story presented in the beginning, the man is at its peak of giving up because he is not able to give up drug abuse. Going by the formula, generally, we would rebuke and throw all hard hitting words at him hoping atleast to break his mind to make him think something. And we thought it was the best to torment him, so then, he would felt the threat and gave up or atleast understand that it was bad enough to give up. But he would only retaliate back, he could bear the threat no more. So, the strive continues and we all march to more complexities.
God chastened whom He loved. “Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Hebrews 12:6). Rebuking is important. It is like a whistle that blows when we are off track. But It has important but at its own season. Had the man in the second story who had just started doing drugs being rebuked he would had a chance to stop. The soft spoken words could not get his attention nor help him realize the danger of it.
But rebuking did not help the man in the first story because at the maturity of the situation, he is not battling against the drugs anymore but with himself. He is fully aware of what is going on and every advice that he needs to hear. So the rebuke only hurt him instead of doing good. He has been battling to overcome, but the rebuke has isolated him to fight the battle alone. The battle is the struggle to control self, and what does the mind help when it could not understand its own body anymore? This calls for love: an ear to listen to his cries, words to comfort, and shoulder to carry the burden together. Had he being loved in his struggle the battle for him would have been much easier, and less time to overcome it.
There may be people in our lives who need more love than rebuke. As much as we are struggling to cope up with them they are struggling the same to overcome their problems. For some, they may be struggling for years with some problem and the last thing they wish is to be free from it. Another rebuke would do more harm. It may detach them from his dear ones. They needed a shoulder to help them in their struggle. They needed love.
God saw the lostness of men. He knew man was helpless. So when man hears no more God’s love took over, His love so rich and pure. His patient and understanding kept us in His arms.
Rebuke can be so tyranny and love so empty at times, when it is not in its season. The Bible talks about timely words. “And a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (Proverbs 15:23). Rebuke proved its necessity when love needed to be shown. Love proved its strength when there was nothing more to hate. This is one beauty of life.
It is more easy to judge then to respond to situations. If we need wisdom to act, there is God who gives wisdom generously.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
“If there is hope, even a little, no struggle can be too hard that we have to surrender to it.”