Thursday, August 25, 2016

Are You Growing?

Hebrews 5:13-14
For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

One of the great truths when it comes to recovery is that time is an ally not an enemy.
Anxiousness causes a person to short cut the process. Usually anxiousness causes a person to make bad decisions. Decisions that are based on emotion rather than intellect.
So the longer you can stay engaged in a treatment program the better odds you'll have that you will be clean and sober.

But time means nothing without growth. This is why I love the passage from Hebrews 5. The early days of recovery can be exciting as your mind begins to clear and real life begins to come back. But unless a person begins going deep inside themselves through the fourth and fifth step, they are setting themselves up for a fall. Clarity of thought does not always prove to be the "big moment" when recovery kicks in. Sometimes clarity of thought opens the door to that notorious thought of "I Can Handle This From Here...I've Got This!"

Did you notice in the Hebrew passage where it states that "An infant doesn't know how to do what is right"? Catch word is infant. New born. The world is a new place, and help is needed to navigate life. Parents are there to instruct and train the infant so growth can take place. What are infants good for? I mean what is it they really do to contribute to a family? Well...they cry.....they eat.....they gurgle and coo....and oh yeah. They mess themselves. Funny part in all of this is that the parents don't mind changing a diaper. It is expected. But you know what? If that same infant grows up and is 26 years old, still messing in their diaper....that ain't funny any more. Houston, we have a problem.

Life in recovery....
Life in this new found relationship with Jesus is all about discovering the truth of ourselves.

It's about cooperating with God's Holy Spirit to bring about a change in our hearts. To allow the Holy Spirit to remove our character defects,and replace the old one with His character.
Such does take time....It isn't an overnight thing. This is growth. Real growth. The Holy Spirit brings out in us attitudes and behaviors that we could never produce on our own, no matter how hard we try. Let's take a look at the things that are available to us if we simply be about the business of growing up.

Love: Wow! There's a biggie. Not the syrupy, gooey kind of love the world has taught us to exercise. Not the manipulative kind of love that we use on others to get our way, but the real-deal-heavenly-pure kind of love Jesus has for us.

Joy: Here again, not the earth-kind of joy. But a joy that shows up especially when things are hard. A joy that lets you know that you have been brought into a new life that doesn't make sense to others who are walking around outside the will of God.

Peace: Inner peace that takes place even when situations and circumstances around you are crumbling and everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket. Peace that allows you move through you day aware of everything but not being owned by any of it.

Patience: This is love that waits. Love that isn't in a hurry. Love that is all about following Jesus instead of trying to run ahead of Him.

Kindness: Love that seeks out others. love that isn't selfish.

Goodness: Love that isn't critical or judgmental. Love that sees life through the eyes of Jesus.

Faithfulness: Here we have love that never quits. A love that rejects the world to embrace Jesus and His cross. A love that doesn't question,but simply follows Him.

Gentleness: Love that comes with a soft, soothing touch. Such love will never rise up in anger to another. Love that speaks truth. Even the hard truth that some don't want to hear, but does so in a way that doesn't corrupt of damage the one hearing it.

Self-control: The ultimate power of love in our life. The ability to control one's self. To say no to our own selfishness and desire to run the show. We do so because we recognize that such an action is given to a POWER greater than ourselves. That POWER has a name, and that name is Jesus.

Think on this today.
I know I am. And I have to ask myself a hard question.

"Am I growing in Christ? Am I becoming mature in my daily walk?

God on you...

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