You can't always win. That's sometimes tough to swallow. I mean, you can only do so much in ministry. You can try to help people, but ultimately they are in control of their lives. 18 months ago I had the opportunity to help a young man named Kevin that had to spend a week with a minister. He was finishing up a 12 month inpatient drug rehab stint. The week I spent with him, I kept trying to talk to him about what his plan was to stay out of trouble. His plan was to say no.
I encouraged him to instead try to change his core group of friends and get involved in some activities that would help him stay busy. I could tell that he didn't care for my advice.
Unfortunately, Kevin was at a party last year, got drunk, smoked some pot, and accidentally shot and killed his best friend. Last week he was sentenced to 8 years in prison for his crime.
I feel sorry for Kevin. I wish there was something more that I could have done. I feel like I failed him. But, I'm not the one at fault. It's Kevin. It's just tough for me to really believe that.