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You Don't Know My Life!

In my profession, I deal with a lot of former prison inmates, those who served time in the local jail, and mostly with those who have spent a portion of their lives using some very hard drugs.

As you may suspect, I hear quite frequently, while trying to give counsel, this statement:

“You haven’t been where I’ve been, haven’t done what I’ve done or seen what I’ve seen! Who are you to tell me anything!?”

This is, in part, true.

I haven’t been to jail or prison, I don’t have any tattoos (as of yet), and I have never tried anything harder than marijuana in my life.

But does that disqualify the counsel I am able to give?

After a couple of years of these questions being asked, and much struggle over whether they were right, and then second guessing what I am doing trying to help others in their struggle, I found the answer.

It is THE Sunday school answer - JESUS!

Let me explain.

One day, a man in our program, much older than me, much more experienced in the pain life brings with much more “street” knowledge than I could fathom, had damaged his arm showing off in the weight room and had to have an immediate emergency surgery.

It was bad.

A couple of days later, post recovery, he came back to the mission and got a bit of an attitude with us.

As I sat him down and begin to try and get to the heart of his bitterness and anger, he played that same old trump card - “How can you tell me anything?! You’re just a kid who has never been where I’ve been!”

It was this moment that it all became clear.

I asked him who the surgeon was that fixed his arm.

He didn’t know his name.

“But didn’t you ask whether he had had his arm messed up in this way before you would let him help you with your arm?”, I asked.

The man replied, “No, he’s a doctor.”

I then began to show him how Christ had never experienced any of the sin He confronted, but was the most effective at helping each person He encountered.

Now, while I’m not Jesus, I have spent a great deal of time studying His word. I have to or I couldn’t be of any service to anyone.

I realize I bring nothing to the table, which is why I must study and know His word.

You and I, who are in Christ, and long to persuade others to be reconciled to Christ, must stay diligently in His word so we can help, whether we have “been there” or not in the shoes of others.

I tell the men in our program, I can’t help you, but I can introduce you to the One who can - Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


My name is Adam Casey. I am a counselor at a faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in North Alabama. Day after day, for hours at a time, I am sitting with men who have seen (and done) some terrible things. Through these counseling sessions, personal struggles, and teaching classes on how Christ is the answer to recovery and reconciliation, many revelatory epiphanies have emerged. All of which are what inspire this blog. I am fully aware of my depravity and certain ability for flaw so make sure to test everything you read here with the word of God. Also, feel free to  write and respond. I love your feedback.

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