BALANCE AND RESPONSIBILITY
One challenge we face in long-term recovery is to balance our needs for love, personal security, and social position. As addicted self-centered people, our beliefs and values regarding our personal needs have probably been distorted. We have often ignored our needs or denied them. And other times we expected others to meet our needs because we were too lazy or self-centered to be responsible for ourselves. We thought we knew what we needed, and we expected someone else to do for us what only we could truly do for ourselves. Or, on the other hand, we would think no one would be there to help us, so we wouldn’t honestly communicate our needs and feelings, which further compounded the isolation and helplessness we felt. Either way, the self-preoccupation we felt increased, hardening even more the self-centeredness that caused our problems. Self-centeredness is the root cause of all our character defects and sins. It can be called self-idolatry, and it is deadly to a sexual addict — and everyone else as well for that matter. But however, as we remain diligent in our recovery work, this is changing. Our self-centeredness begins to die off and fall away when we reach out to God and others honestly and openly. And in doing so we learn not to make such quick assumptions regarding what is best for us or for others either. Our first thought can often get us into trouble, so it is important that we make good second thoughts — praying and consulting with others in order to make the best decisions possible, which results in the best actions in just about any situation. Just because our head sits on our shoulders does not mean it is our friend.
Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures that are
possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects or if you wish, of our sins.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions pg 65
Misguided feelings of personal inferiority or superiority, grandiose and unrealistic beliefs, selfish intentions, selfish motives and selfish priorities are all symptoms of a deeper problem. If we believe that our demands must be met or if we believe it’s somehow bad to feel pain or have difficulty, or if we believe that others need to make us happy, we are exposing ourselves as the selfish center of our lives. Recovery in Christ will give you ever-increasing opportunities to make good choices leading to an abundant life. But! There is always one absolutely wrong choice! And that is to make yourself the center of your own world. God has never shared His role with anyone, and He won’t share it with any of us. Our character defects and sins thrive when we try to rule our own lives or anyone else’s.
Our character flaws ooze out of us like a foul odor when we remain stuck, living life our way. On the other hand, as we focus our mind and our heart on God, we become more willing to let go of our character defects, our addictions and the habitual sinfulness that has held us back in our lives. It is important to note that even when we express our trust in God in the smallest ways, it shows we are growing in willingness. This growth in willingness is a growth in faith, and no matter how small our willingness and faith is, it pleases God. Willingness is our part in our growth. We plant it like a seed — no one can do this for us, we do it for ourselves — our recovery fellowship and partners will help us nurture and grow our seedlings of positive change. Our brothers and sisters in recovery who help us tend our new garden of change — and we theirs — are in effect a huge down pouring of God’s caring rain. Seedlings of willingness and faith respond dramatically as we make these small and crucial choices.
"Faith as small as a mustard seed."
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