“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb. 2:18) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)
We have come to assume, I'm afraid, that unless one has been a participant in a particular sin, he or she is not capable of helping someone who is caught up in it now. "They have groups for that," as they say. But these verses in Hebrews fly in the face of that supposition.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in all the same ways (“all points”) you and I could ever be tempted; yet, the writer is careful to point out, “without sin.” Jesus did not have to succumb to temptation in order to “succour” (help) those who had been, or would be tempted.
I would contend, the same principle applies to our ministry to one another. Recovering alcoholics do not have to be ministered to by ex-drunks; those who are overcoming drug addiction do not have to have ex-junkies to identify with them; and someone who is fighting sexual deviancy is not always best helped by a former whoremonger. There is a commonality about temptation that puts us all in the same category (1Cor.10:13a). In truth, all that is needed is a Spirit-filled, compassionate believer who has ever had to face temptation of any sort (Gal.6:1). And, as I say, who among us has not?
There may be times when professional help is called for; but, generally speaking, when we're struggling with a besetting sin, all you and I need is a fellow believer who is willing to invest his or her time, prayers, and tears in our lives, whether he or she has ever been a participant in our particular sin. And let’s face it, as Galatians points out, each of us is capable of either role. We could just as easily be the ones in need of help; therefore we should be the ones offering to give it.