We admitted we were powerless over our addiction,
that our life had become unmanageable.
As He saw many people, He had loving-pity on them. They were troubled and were walking around everywhere. They were like sheep without a shepherd.
Matt 9:36 New Life Version
To be alive is to be addicted, and to be alive and addicted is to stand in need of grace. -Gerald G. May, M.D.
God Knows What You Are Going Through
Step One of the Twelve Step recovery process requires that we get honest about how we have failed to control our addictions and our lives. This includes recognizing and admitting that we have lost control over our compulsive desires and that we have failed in all of our attempts to regain control.
To recover from our addictions, it is important for us to recognize that no human being, no place, or anything will solve our internal problems. In fact, even our own efforts will become problems for us if we rely on them alone to change the way we think and feel about ourselves and our lives. Even the little nagging personal problems that we have but don’t consider as addictions (mostly our bad habits, our secret fantasies and our illusions) will take on the qualities and destructive aspects of addiction when we rely on them. After all, addictions are nothing more than bad habits that have become both idolatrous and pathological. In the end, only God can do for us what we have been unable to do for ourselves.
At the center of everything we believe as Christians is a belief that God has the human face of Jesus Christ. Through the scriptural story of the life of Jesus we see how God reacts to people when they suffer. God, through Jesus, responds to suffering with compassion and empathy. Compassion, commitment to love and empathy are the displayed characteristics of the God-humanness that was and is the life of Christ. As God walked the earth through the life of Jesus, he never turned away from anyone who asked him for help. Now it is important to understand that not everyone that encountered Jesus came away from meeting him with the kind of help that they wanted. There were, after all, those who had violent reactions to Jesus and there were also those who came away disappointed and unhealed. But, to those who were willing to admit their hopeless suffering, Jesus gave a power and grace that changed the way they viewed themselves and their lives. In their sincere confession, they were given a power to change that had not been available to them before they met Christ. Hopelessness was made into faith and suffering made into strength. While God does not offer us an escape from inconvenience or discomfort, he does offer us a complete and total change of who we are, which in turn will change our life. To experience this change we must first admit our anguish and longing which then opens us to a desperate but powerful faith and hope in God’s love and care.
Step 1 is the prelude and preparation for a life changing faith and hopefulness. First, we must admit that we cannot solve our problems on our own, no matter how hard we try. As we do this, we get in touch with the center point of our pain and desperation which is the exact place where we became willing to ask God to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. With God there is hope and without him we’re screwed.
Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer and The Men and Women of Operation Integrity
Chapter One Segment Six
Copyright David Zailer, 2008
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