Do you feel that you could never come close to God because you have done something terrible?
God can and will forgive you for any sin. While God forgives us, however, He does not always erase the natural consequences of our sin. Recovery requires changes in our character. Changes we need to put ACTION into.
About minding your own business Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Recovery requires a change of character that can only be obtained through a relationship with Jesus.
There’s no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God.1 Peter 2:20
When I entered recovery people expected me to fail. Some are probably still waiting for the day when it all comes crashing down. Not their fault! When I first entered recovery in 1987, I made a lot of the right noises and won the faith and respect of people just to let them down when I relapsed. Relapse taught me things about myself I would never have learned without it. I am not suggesting people relapse. But for me, it helped me to build a better character by helping me to understand my need for rigorous honesty. It helped me to mature because all I had done previously was abstain from alcohol and drugs.
Are you ready to take full responsibility for your own maturity?
When you enter ‘Spiritual Recovery’ and realise God had to be looking after you how could you not want to know more about Him? That’s what happened to me! Realising God cared about me and would help me recover.
Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.” ― Roy T. Bennett
Be sure that you don’t say no to the One who speaks. People did not escape when they said no to the One who warned them on earth. And what if we turn away from the One who warns us from heaven? How much less will we escape!Hebrews 12:25
A belief I have held since entering Bible-based recovery in 1989 is “Most people fail in recovery because they don’t plan not to.” Many people with good intentions and the right motivations enter rehabs and do well. Then at the end of their time, they leave rehabs and go back to ‘the real world’ without a plan of how they are going to manage their addictions and compulsions going forward. Sure they plan to attend meetings but what else? The ‘Big Book’ of ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ says ‘We deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling and powerful.’ And, the reality is unless we have a plan of how we are going to live differently, act differently and think differently we are setting ourselves up for failure.
As we begin to experience success in recovery it is easy for us to convince ourselves we no longer need to apply what we have learned through the process. It is easy for us to convince ourselves we have our addictions and compulsions beaten.
When we start thinking that way we are on the ‘Road to Relapse’ Living Life Recovery requires careful planning of living and applying all we have learned to our daily living so we can continue living and growing spiritually with God’s help.
Romans 8:31-32 “With God on our side like this, how can we lose?” “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?”
We are all the most vulnerable to relapse when life is going well. When things are going well we tend to stop listening to God because we think we can now handle things on our own. We start to neglect to go to meetings, reading the Bible, praying and doing other things we used to do when we were first introduced to recovery.
Complacency leads to relapse. God is the source of power for all recovery; success in recovery needs to be accredited to Him and what He is doing in and through us and our lives. Failure to acknowledge Him will lead to relapse
Disappointment can lead to relapse. When things don’t go the way, we think they should we are left at a crossroads, with two choices. Keep moving forward or go backward. When things don’t go the way we think they should we need to become actively involved in changing them.
Pride leads to relapse. Arrogance disqualifies us from moving forward in recovery. Self-sufficiency and superiority are killers in the process.
Pride lures us away from God
Pride undermines what we have learned
Pride distorts our views of ourselves – God – others – recovery
Selfishness is a rejection of God and all He represents
Selfishness is self-destructive
Selfishness is at the heart of most of our problems
Stops us relying on God
Stops us asking for help when we need it
Removes us from the recovery process
Distraction stops us being consistent
Distraction lowers our awareness of our true position
Distraction stops us trusting God
COMMITMENT TO GOD
Must be complete
Must be consistent
Must be lifelong
Must put Him first and above all else
COMMITMENT TO OTHERS
Should not compromise our recovery
Should reflect our relationship with God
Should encourage both us and those we are in relationship with
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So, when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with You, and even to die with You.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” Luke 22:31-34
It is easy to lose faith when things go wrong. As we experience problems in recovery we may feel our recovery is worthless and no longer worthwhile. We may get angry at God because He is not doing what we think He should. Peter suffered the worst relapse. Complacently believing He would never do anything to deny his relationship with Jesus. “I’d rather die”, he said.
Why in the recovery process are we surprised when it gets difficult? Why do we think because we are in recovery and have God in our lives everything is going to be easy?