“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure–‘playactors’ I call them–treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. Matthew 6:2
Matthew 6:27-31 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.
Stop worrying about how you look and start paying attention to how you are acting and reacting to the things God is doing in and through your life. He has got you!
Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.”
Step 12: Having gone through these steps and discovering the importance of an individual relationship with God through Jesus, I will try to live according to His principles and to lead others to a personal relationship with Him.
*People who know us are watching how we are living, observing the changes in us since entering the recovery process. How we act and react to life can have a big effect on others’ decisions to enter a life of recovery.
Here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY DOESN’T ABSOLVE OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
We are responsible for what we say and what we do. We are also responsible for our past mistakes and making amends for them. Recovery requires a change of culture and a willingness to ‘be different’ In the past, we have got by trying to fit in. It is now time to seek the will of God for our lives and putting it into practice. It is now time to make sure the sins of the past are not coming back to haunt us in the future. The way to do that is by taking responsibility for them. Admitting and accepting them and doing all we can do, with God’s help to minimize their influence on our life moving forward.
One of the disciplines I learned early in recovery. In fact, I learned it whilst in rehab in Rockingham in Western Australia through the reading of the Alcoholics Anonymous book 24 Hours a Day. It was the importance of starting the day right in a morning devotional time. Over the years I have maintained this practice. Whilst the Territorial Wholesale Manager of ‘Salvation Army Family Stores’ we used to start every day with ‘morning devotions’ that included all staff, many of whom were not Christian but who all looked forward to our time together before we commenced work for the day.
To that end, Living Life Recovery will now have a ‘Morning Start-Up’ reading featured here on our website at http://livingliferecovery.com(better late than never) The purpose of these morning start-up meetings is to focus our attention on recovery each day and having a God focus throughout the day to help us as we move forward on our spiritual walk.
The title for day one is above with a link to today’s verse for today. My prayer is that God will draw us closer to Himself as we share these important start-up messages together.
When we were living irresponsibly we often put our lives in danger. I certainly did, but that’s another story for another time. Under the influence of alcohol or another mind-altering drug of choice we often disregard safety and common sense. At other times we may have experienced inexplicable fear and anxieties from which we felt powerless to escape. Like many other people, we looked for release by using more of our drug of choice. However, when the effects wore off our fears and anxieties remained. Our fears and anxieties were only brought under control when we handed them over to God and allowed Him to lead us to the right solutions.
The world is full of people, situations and experiences that I was afraid of. I found that using alcohol and other drugs helped me forget those fears for a while. But they didn’t remove my fears. When I put my life in God’s hand in 1989 I discovered He removed my emotional fears. With Him, I can walk through the darkest valley, without fear secure in the knowledge that He will take care of me.
I pray I will never take my life out of God’s hands and allow fear and anxiety to control my life.
When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out. Matthew 6:3-4
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry.
Instead of blaming God when things don’t go the way we think they should we need to learn to ask two questions.
- Why did God allow this to happen?
- What is He wanting me to learn from it?
Through the process of recovery, His Word and intervention God is teaching us to live our lives for Him. That includes His correction when we get it wrong. If you never make a mistake you will never get it right.
- What things have happened to you during the process of recovery where you are now aware God was teaching you something?
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure–‘playactors’ I call them–treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it–quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out. Matthew 6:1-4
Luke 6:41 “You look at the bit of sawdust in your friend’s eye. But you pay no attention to the piece of wood in your own eye.”
No one is perfect. We are all sinners and we all fail when it comes to meeting God’s standards. So why are we all more interested in what is going on in other people’s lives than we are on our own?
It helps us to take the focus from ourselves, 2 Corinthians 11:3 says “Eve was tricked by the snake’s clever lies. And I’m afraid that in the same way your minds will somehow be led down the wrong path. They will be led away from your true and pure love for Christ.”
That’s what will happen to us if we focus more on others character than our own.
- Are you spending too much time taking other people’s inventories?
Prayer: Lord help me today to focus on my own character and You will for my life.
Galatians 4:17 Those false teachers who are so anxious to win your favor are not doing it for your good. What they are trying to do is to shut you off from me so that you will pay more attention to them.
Proverbs 1:31-33 “You’ve made your bed–now lie in it; you wanted your own way–now, how do you like it? Don’t you see what happens, you simpletons, you idiots? Carelessness kills; complacency is murder. First, pay attention to me, and then relax. Now you can take it easy–you’re in good hands.”