You have your dream job. It is one of the top 3 jobs in college coaching. You live in Southern California and play your home games in the Rose Bowl. You are making millions of dollars and can hire/fire your own staff. Your life is set! It is incredible.
So how do you show up drunk at a game that you are coaching? How do you show up at multiple football practices wasted? How can you let a substance take such control over your life? The young men you recruited are concerned for your health and worry if you will show up drunk to practice again.
This is happening after Johnny Football goes to rehab. This is happening after the 49ers cut one of their best players over alcohol abuse. This is happening right after CC Sabathia decides not to be on the Yankees playoff roster to check himself into rehab.
Also you live in a town that is known for celebrities and alcohol abuse. The stories of pain and loss due to alcohol in LA and Hollywood would be unending.
How? Why? For the Christian this answer is easy. We find it here
Romans 7:15-20 (ESV)
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Sin can take control over anyone’s life. It doesn’t matter how many bad stories we read and hear about. Sin can make you run past all common sense and rational thinking. As the old saying goes “Sin takes you further than you wanted to go. Sin keeps you longer than you wanted to stay. And it cost you more than you are willing to pay”. That quote explains the current situation of Coach Sark.
All of us do things that we know are bad for us. Typically depression, anxiety, and lack of discipline can give these things a hold on our lives. Before we know it sin has taken us to places we never wanted to go. Places we never expected go. Like losing an incredible job or a marriage.
It is only by the grace of God that I’m not struggling like Steve Sarkisian or CC Sabathia. I’ve never struggled with alcohol and that has less to do with me and more to do with the Lord protecting me.
Don’t look down on those struggling with substance abuse. It is an ugly thing that is difficult to understand. Instead pray for them. Encourage them to get help. They will have to overcome their pride too to seek the help they need. Look for a church in your city that has Celebrate Recovery and do everything you can to get them involved. Talk to your pastor about getting them counseling and treatment. There are resources available for those seeking help.
Treat them like you would want to be treated. Help them like you would want to be helped. You may be the only person that will be Jesus to them.
You have sin and struggles too.