Monday, February 17, 2014

Discipline



Psalm 119:3
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.

Some say that discipline is self-will controlled.
Some say that discipline is a learned behavior.
But when it comes to recovery....
When it comes to working a program and following "the" path that others have walked, to me it all boils down to a heart transplant.

I'm not talking about that bloody muscle inside my chest that pumps blood and keeps me upright and ventilating.
I'm speaking of the very center of who I am, as a human being.
That part of me that collectively is my will, my intellect, my emotions.....the part that actually rules my behavior and influences my decisions.

That has to change. Wrapped up and in all this center part of me is something that is called the "sin-nature". Some refer to it as the "flesh" or the "old man",but it is the driving force behind all my addicta-logic that has brought me to this place of destruction. I am in need of being saved from this sin nature and from myself, being a slave to it. I am in need of a heart transplant.
I'm pretty  sure this new way of living isn't something that you just wake up after years of addiction and decide, "You know, I think I'll just be disciplined this morning."


In fact, we've already proved ourselves to be disciplined during those dark time, didn't we?
I mean nothing separated us from what we wanted most, our drugs and alcohol.
If we were low on money, that didn't stop us.
We came up with a plan to get what we needed, and then we carried it out.
It may have involved lying or stealing, but we were disciplined enough to see it through so we could get high.
So discipline is a two edged sword.

When most people enter recovery, their idea of recovery is simply making the pain and pressure of our bad choices go away. They have no inkling about addressing the bad choices they made or the amends that have to be addressed. They simply want the pain to stop. When the pain does stop, then discipline is needed to walk through the mess and years of bad choices that have piled up around them. 

We go on to read in Psalm 119:5 - Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your principals. To me the key word in that verse is "consistently". To be able to sustain the success we are finding in this new way of living. Success that comes from simply giving up and turning will and live over to the care of God. In other words, we come to a saving relationship with Jesus. A surrender, if you will, of not just our old ways, but of our old nature. I can't explain the nuts and bolts of how this thing works...I just know that I am living proof of what God can do. I remember the old me. The stinky me. The me that wasn't very nice. Looking back to that B.I.G.U period in my life (Before I Gave Up)....discipline was not something that was a part of my vocabulary. That all changed when I gave up...I mean really gave up.

Many folks rail against the Twelve Steps. They have all manner of reasons why they are not true and why this "GOD-thing" really doesn't work. God bless 'em! They are missing the big point There isn't any magic in following a list of instructions. IF there is magic (and there's not) it's in the change that comes to the addict through the first three steps. Those first three steps provide the base and foundation, AND THE ABILITY...to carry out the other nine.
Why?
Because we have entered into a new dimension of living we never thought would be possible for us. Not because of our own strength, talent or ability, but because of the presence of Jesus as the one we now follow.

Sounds way to simple, doesn't it?
It works.

God on you....
mb

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