One Hero’s Struggle…

He was an all-American hero. Some say he was the greatest baseball player who ever lived. Mickey Mantle seemed to have it all – fame, fortune, and millions of fans. The day of his graduation from high school in 1950, he signed with the world-renowned New York Yankees, a decision that began his road to stardom. The statistics support his superstar status: 536 career home runs, three Most Valuable Player awards, a career batting average of .298, seven World Championships, and baseball’s Triple Crown, meaning he led the entire major league in the three categories of highest batting average, most home runs, and most runs batted in.

However, Mickey also lived an extravagant, alcoholic lifestyle filled with various types of abuse. When he was diagnosed with liver cancer, it was evident  that the years of drinking had intensified the damage. Despite hi successful treatment for alcoholism, the assault to his body was too severe, and the death came swiftly. During th efinal inning of his life, Mickey stood before the microphones at a press conference, gestured toward himself, wanting the world to know that he was no role model, and said, “Don’t be like me.”

What could take the greatest switch-hitter in the game of baseball from adoration down to addiction? Why do millions of people each year take that same painful path? The Bible gives this explanation,

” There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” -Proverbs 16:25

Q: “If I am a habitual, compulsive drinker and drug user, can I really change and permanently stop?”

A: All habits, compulsions, and addictions are highly resistant and are therefore very difficult to change, yet not impossibly so. Repeating actions actually alters the brain, making it more difficult to change a pattern of choices. New patterns of behavior, however can be learned. If you are a true believer, you have His Word to change your way of thinking, His church with specialized community groups to support your life change, and His Spirit to empower you from within to follow through to stop drinking.

“It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” -Philippians 2:13

Key Verse to Memorize

“I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'” -Isaiah 41:13

Key Passage to Read and Reread

1 Corinthians Chapter 10

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” -Proverbs 4:23

Click here for the PDF version of the complete Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resource Guide provided by Hope for the Heart.