Fear Less, Ep. 3: Why George Wood Helps Men Overcome Addiction

When there’s a problem in society most of us ask why someone hasn’t done something to fix it, but only a select few actually step forward.

My good friend George Wood is one of those few. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol until he found sobriety in a real, authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. Since that day he’s not only maintained his own sobriety, but has also devoted his life to helping other men do so through a relationship with Jesus and community with one another.

Tragedy struck George after he found recovery, when the filthy, brooding snake of addiction took the lives of both his sister and brother within seven months of each other, as he shares in our interview. That’s when he started the Timothy Initiative, an addiction ministry where men live in community and support each other in Jesus-focused living. It is part of the Underground Network, the church I attend, and George and I are in the same house church. I’m blessed to be able to call him my friend and I’m honored to present you this interview.

“This needed to be done so I just did it. I didn’t get woken up in the middle of the night by some burning bush and have somebody tell me to go do this,” George told me in our interview.

In our interview we also discuss:

  • What major fear did George experience in putting Timothy Initiative together.
  • What role does fear play in the addict’s life?
  • What role does faith play in the addict’s life?
  • What role does fear play for the close friend or family member?
  • How does fear play out for the close friend or family member?
  • What do people fear about pitching in to help?
  • Words of advice for anyone considering entering this sort of ministry.

He starts the interview by stating that he worked in addiction ministries before and saw first hand that they cleaned the person up and sent them out into the world with an earnest hope they’d make it. But they didn’t. So the Timothy Initiative was designed to be different. It was to be centered around community.

“My fear was, I didn’t know exactly how I could show other men that community living was not just a choice that they had to make, but it was a desirable choice.”

This interview is broad-reaching, from the person facing a fear telling them they can’t overcome adversity, to the mother who can’t stop worrying about what her son is getting into.

Here are a few quotes from the interview:

“We are primarily motivated by fear. When you look at addicts, fear plays the motivator in the sense that addicts fear living life on life’s terms…those of us in addiction typically are running from something.”

“We fear things and we try to control things, because really the only way out of fear is we try to control. An addict is more willing to stay using because they can control that aspect of their life, even to the point they are willing to stay broken because at least they can control it.”

“I found that faith in something bigger than myself was the only way this was going to work.”

“If you’re not very strong in Jesus and you say you want to go help addicts, I’d say you have a lot of things to fear. They may steal your wallet, they may rob you, they make break into your house, they may do all sorts of stuff.”

“Most of the men I’ve worked with … are just regular people. And often they’re not people that made bad decisions, they’re people that had bad things happen to them. And they’re people that didn’t have things go their way when other people have had things go their way. It’s just that they’re people, and you have to realize that.”

“Don’t wait for the call on your life, because there is no call on your life. News flash, the call was made 2,000 years ago: go and make disciples of all nations. Go and love your neighbor as yourself. Go and do these things he said all these years ago because it hasn’t changed, and don’t expect God to change something that he’s not going to.”

“Part of why I know it’s what I’ve got to do is because it isn’t exactly what I’d want to do. And it’s not exactly who I thought I’d be or want to be. But I know it needs to be done, and I know that Jesus has done something in me so I need to help do that in others.”

“Don’t let your fear get in the way of who you’re supposed to be.”

For more information about the Timothy Initiative, or if you are interested in donating to this ministry, visit www.timothyinitiative.org.