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If I didn’t get help I would have died–Eric Ainge Story

Earlier this week, published an article about former UT Vols quarterback and current NY Jet Erik Ainge. He admitted to extreme substance abuse dating back to when he was 12 years old, when he began a lifestyle that led to addictions to heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and painkillers.

He spent 12 years on hard drugs and has only been able to overcome his addictions for the last 8 months, over which time he has moved in with family members and entered recovery programs.  However, I don’t want to take this space to talk about his drug addiction. I really want to key in on the headline that got my attention in the first place. The headline was a simple quote from Ainge – “If I didn’t get help, I would have died.”

While there are many sins that don’t put you in danger of physical death, the quote could be applied to all of us in terms of our spirituality. Originally, if we don’t turn to Jesus to save us, we will die.

However, I want to take it one step further. Once we become Christians, it is a command for us to help our fellow Christians and submit ourselves to them to receive their help as well. If we don’t get help with our sins, we will die. The church isn’t a “Do It Yourself” organization. God wants us to be in fellowship with Christ, and if we’re in fellowship with Him, we must be in fellowship with each other. When we have sin in our lives, our pride takes over and tells us to keep it to ourselves. We don’t want other people to know we have flaws. God doesn’t care. He knows what’s best for us, and He wants us to be there for each other. Hebrews 3:12-13 warns us – “Take care brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

God’s solution for keeping each one from falling away is the encouragement we can give one another and help each other through. We know that we are commanded to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16). The lesson for us is to never try to “fly solo” in our lives as Christians. God wants us to help one another, but if everyone refused help, nobody would be able to keep that command. Let’s help one another and rely on the help God has given us in the form of the church. We’re in a fight, and if we don’t get help, we’ll die.




  1. When I 1st got saved and became a Christian I was into the party lifestyle. When I quit doing cocaine (and sometimes herion)I was up to about a $1500 a day habbit and I was not working. I was doing a lot of sinning not just using the drugs but all that goes with this lifestyle. YET I was saved..I was going to church on Sunday but Saturday night I was at the nightclub (in the begining). I eventually went to treatment (several programs)but I did not go to the Christian programs out there such as Teen Challenge or some of the other ones (and that was because I did not want to be somewhere for longer than 90days and the Christian programs many of them are usually 18months). Yet, I did go to AA/NA and now I have 13 years of soberity, and I have to tell you that YES, had I not stopped I would have died. Either by my own hand or by an overdose or HIV or whatever. Even as a Christian I used for a period of time. I would have died had it not been for Christ interveineing and helping me. In 1 Corintians 10:13 Paul says that there is NO temptation common to man but GOD is faithful and you will not be tempted beyond what you can handle and He does provide a way out. This verse is so powerful. We have a way out, although many many times it does involve my surreneder and my calling out and asking for help from both God and another person. Since becoming sober and receiveing the Holy Spirit (even this experince was an awesome God thing..I was being prayed over and I HEARD these words “come on in the party is great” and when I asked the 5 men (elders) if they had said that or even heard it they all said NO.. I can tell you this.. There are days when even after 13 years I still can taste the drug but God ALWAYS provides me with #1 a way out of the issue #2 a way to help another.. So.. Yes I do think that we can not do this thing alone. Recovery and life in general(even for those who don’t have addiction issues) is hard but God is better than any drug.. I stated on another post that my worse day sober is so much better than my best day high was. I am no longer running away from life I am running to life with the Savior. TY for letting me share.

  2. Wesley

    April 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I hope you will allow this site to help you in your spiritual growth. Also feel free to comment any time.

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