So over the past couple decades there have been studies and pundits doing their best to discredit any sort of 12 Step Recovery program and therefore positive results in the lives of those who’ve subscribed to the steps, material, attend meetings, link with sponsors and do the work.
The reality is that a couple of Christians who had personal experience with alcohol and addiction recognized something many apparently do not: healing is not one-dimensional.
This is not merely a “false gospel” or “social gospel”, watered-down, liberal spirituality. It can and at times may well BE that for some, even many in such programs. And then there’s Celebrate Recovery which is about as solidly Christ (absolutely the only Higher Power is CR’s belief) and Bible focused as you can get.
I could not be more aware/believe in and daily experience a reap-sow, personal responsibility concept of living than I already am. And even -I- understand grace which is at core “NOT getting what you deserve” which sadly is lost on many professing Christians. Mercy doesn’t mean accepting everything this or that philosophy or group-think believes, I get that too! And yet… and yet…
You are reading the words of a recovering “sinner” (according to Jesus and His Words), a recovering drug, booze, sex and at core self addict. I have attended, led and been personally helped over the years from various 12 Step groups and meetings. As they say, your mileage may vary, but of course the same is said about following Jesus, about attending this or that local or denominational or house church by plenty of people who can say “I was there and it/they didn’t help me. I felt WORSE. It didn’t work!!”
There are so very many reasons people “experience” marriage and in the end divorce and therefore consider marriage “not for them”, even “useless” and in fact something that brings more outright pain and grief than joy. Come on, look at the divorce rate! So marriage in and of itself is a failure and worthless, even a deception right??!
Thousands of people invest in musical gear, say a guitar… they practice… and their fingers hurt. They don’t seem to “be a natural”, don’t “get it”, and other legitimate concerns take their mind and energies away from committing, learning, actually growing as a guitarist, discovering where the notes are, various chord shapes and so forth. The instrument sits in the closet and neither they nor others benefit from what could have been.
I tire of cheap shots (and I don’t mean toward me personally!) taken by haters, self-righteous and often arrogant and/or flat-out ignorant people who -in their own life- never had to face demonic, overwhelming desires for X, Y or Z and lost the battle/s. If you don’t NEED help in an area of life, you rarely seek it out. Plenty seek and find. Jesus said something about that. He indeed meant seek HIM… not a program as such. Got that. I follow Him. Daily. Moment-by-moment. Listen to Him, His Word, thank Him, interact with Him. I want to. I’m convinced He wants me to. I am deeply thankful for His grace in any spiritual progress I have and do experience!
AND… I have long worked The Steps, get a devo in my inbox, as well as pray, read the Bible and study daily, confess and am accountable for sin.
I’ve often said I’ve a “master’s” in addiction and I can tell you that all the nay-sayers and words of pundits weren’t around when I was desperate for help. They (you, if the shoe fits) were NOT present in my life and had no power to help deliver me from the incredible hell-on-earth that destructive habits such as mine were chaining me to.
I found help in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I also have found practical help in working The 12 Steps… for close to three decades.
Recovery is a reality. It’s indeed a journey and not each and every moment a destination. A core part and point of focus is humility. That’s something I continue to work on myself. I encourage openness and learning to all reading these words, as without them you may simply end up like this guy:
“A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction.” Ecclesiasties 4.13
Pray, get saved, read your Bible, show up Sunday is massive -but not the end of my nor plenty of others story. Some of us need more practical input and at times we did not find it among this or that group of folks. I’m living proof “it works when you work it, one day at a time”.
Don’t be so quick to trash talk following Jesus OR recovery work. You may be shocked when the day comes you’ll wish you hadn’t blown off either.
As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn