Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spiritual Progress Not Spiritual Perfection In Our Performance

Step # 1
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol– that our lives had become unmanageable.

Rarely do people caught in addictive behaviors admit to being addicted. To deny the seriousness of our condition and to avoid detection and the consequences of our choices, we tried to minimize or hide our behaviors. We did not realize that by deceiving others and ourselves, we slipped deeper into our addictions. As our powerlessness over addiction increased, many of us found fault with family, friends, Church leaders, and even God. We plunged into greater and greater isolation, separating ourselves from others, especially from God. When we, as addicts, resorted to lies and secrecy, hoping to excuse ourselves or blame others, we weakened spiritually. With each act of dishonesty, we bound ourselves with “flaxen cords” that soon became as strong as chains . Then a time came when we were brought face to face with reality. We could no longer hide our addictions by telling one more lie or by saying, “It’s not that bad!” (Taken from a Blog on Addiction).

In an age where the human will, intellect and spirit is lifted above God, it is no wonder that we have a hard time with admitting that we are powerless.
We live in an age where image is everything, not truth. If I can appear to be a certain way then I can operate and feel good about myself no matter how depraved I have become. We battle and fight to stay away from admitting we have a problem. Romans 3:10-11 reads As it is written, "There is none good (righteous) no, not one. There is none who understands. There is none who seeks after God." Now lets ask a very simple question. In the verse, it states that none are good and righteous. So, with that in  mind, who falls under the category of "none".....I think that would be everyone. Kind of a hard pill to swallow, yes?  I remember a man who would never sing the song "Amazing Grace" because he refused to call himself a "wretch". Yet, his very life revealed the fact that he was struggling with addiction. Now I'm not saying we need to walk around beating ourselves up because of our lack of "goodness" on any level. Or that we need to feel like we need to be punished for our bad choices and behavior that has affected everyone around us. That's not the case. But we need to see with clear eyes and understanding the extent of our self inflicted destruction, and realize that we are the problem. Our usage of drugs and alcohol are merely symptoms of a deeper problem. 

Admitting the truth is not something that is done casually. For most of us it represents a major change in business-as-usual. We have learned  evasion, and denial. Now we must learn to admit the truth. The Bible puts a high value on telling the truth: “Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25). The falsehood that we “put off” in Step One is the belief that we do not need any help–that we can handle it, that we are managing our lives successfully on our own. In Step One we admit that this is not true. To our surprise, when we admit this truth, new and better ways of living become possible for us. If the truth be known, Step #1 is the point at which God begins to reveal the extent of our powerlessness. It takes His light shinning in our darkness for me to see the truth about myself.
Step # 1 sends us on the start of an incredible journey that can lift us out of the muck and mire of our old lifestyle.

God on you....

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