Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ALL THINGS GOOD - from Our Journey Home

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. Luke 12:2 NLT

“To state the facts frankly is not to despair for the future nor indict the past.” --John F. Kennedy

All Things Good

Jesus Christ is the definitive break in what has previously been an unbreakable cycle of human effort, human trial and human failure; a cycle that has been repeated in every human life throughout history. But no more. Through Christ, God changes all the rules. In Christ, the new rule is human trial, human failure and redemption for every man and woman who trusts in the redemptive love of God. It’s very simple, really. God, through Christ, has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. So, we no longer need to be concerned with getting ourselves right with God. We need only concern ourselves with honestly addressing the reality of our addictions and our sins. For this reason, it is vitally important that we understand our shortcomings with as much clarity as possible. Because, we can accept God’s love only to the degree that we accept our personal shortcomings. God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, but He will not do for us what only we can do for ourselves.

Looking back over our lives, we will inevitably see that we have made some bad choices along the way. Seeing things from an objective point of view, we can see that the choices that we made, even the bad ones, usually made sense to us at the time that we made them. Being objective in this way, we can give ourselves compassion and understanding which will help us to move forward and live our lives with more freedom. We don’t need to judge ourselves anymore. Judgment is God’s job, after all, not ours. For our part, we just let the facts be what they are. God makes perfectly enlightened judgments about the things we do and why we do them. For you see, God does not judge us solely on what we do. He does not define us by our actions alone. He defines us by the love that He has for us. He knows that we don’t know all that we need to know. He knows that we are not always in control of ourselves. He knows that we are instinctively fearful and self-centered and that sometimes we do bad things with good intentions and that other times we do things that look good on the outside but are done with selfish motives. Knowing all things, and with His perfect judgment, God does not define us in terms of good versus bad. Having created us as very complex creatures, God is fully aware, as proven through Christ’s compassion, that we live conflicted lives in a conflicted world. From God’s point of view, we are defined by the simple reality of His revolutionary love for lost and addicted sinners like us.

Because of Christ, it is no longer necessary for us to avoid or escape the pain that we experience in life. In Christ, we can find a good purpose in everything. In faith, we believe that He makes all things good. And because there is no limitation to the meaning of “all,” we can accept every pain and difficulty as an opportunity for goodness. Pain can be a great teacher and a wonderful motivator. Pain compels us forward, motivating us to reach out. It’s as if our past problems, fears, pains and sins become monuments along the road of our journey. They become memorable points of progress that help us, and others too, to journey deeper into the empowering love of God.

We want to be as thorough as we can possibly be and, at the same time, we want to recognize that our faith is in God and not in our own efforts. When we feel anger, we write about it. When we sense fear, we write about it. When we feel resentment, we write it down. We write everything down so that we can talk it over face to face with God, and man to man with another person, too. We don’t need to be perfect, but we do want to do the best that we can. As we get a better grasp about how we feel, we will get a better grasp of who we are and how we have harmed ourselves and others. Then, we become evermore ready to change. We become ready to live in this world in a new and better way.

An excerpt from Our Journey Home - Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer Copyright David Zailer, 2011

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