Friday, September 26, 2014
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Let’s do something useful, Friend.
I had the privilege last evening to attend a banquet celebrating the ministry of the Miracle Center, a Christian transitional housing ministry for men and women. Their focus is on those who are coming out of addictions and homelessness. It is a wonderful program. As I listened to the testimonies from graduates and current residents, it brought tears to my eyes. I was moved by a personal grasp of what it requires to come this far, and also by the painful reality that most who begin the sobriety process fal back into their addiction. Some who spoke last night will not make it. The result for many will be incarceration, dementia, or early death. I have seen all of the above, and recently. The really irritating thing about it is that it doesn’t matter how talented or intelligent or congenial the individual may be. Even the ones I like can, and do, get loaded again and die. Indeed, it often seems that the more fetching their personality the less likely they are to stay sober. More so than ever in my life, I truly hate addiction.
For all the addicts who are reading this and for those who love them, let me enumerate just a few keys to successful recovery.
1. You can’t do this by yourself. You need others to help you, and you need God to do the heavy lifting.
2. This is serious. The old saying,” serious as a heart attack,” more than applies here. It is life and death. You don’t have anything more important to do.
3. Pride will kill you. You are not smarter than everybody else. The first sign that someone is headed back to their addiction is that they suddenly know all about it and don’t need the input of others. “Yes, but” is the sound of the death knell.
4. You have a problem with authority. It’s just part of it. Find a trusted mentor and listen, whether you agree or not. That rebellion has to be broken or you will die.
5. Changing external things won’t work. A new set of rules, a new set of friends, a new job, a new love, none of these will keep you free. You will have to establish a one-on-one personal, interactive, and constant relationship with God. Nurturing that relationship will be your life’s work.
6. You can’t keep what you don’t give away. When all else fails, help someone else. It will keep you off your mind. Kindness oozes the salve that eases the pain in your soul.
7. Your sobriety is a gift, not an achievement. Handle it with the kid gloves of gratitude.
Somebody Said: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Desmond Tutu
Scripture Reading: You are kind, LORD, so good and merciful. You protect ordinary people, and when I was helpless, you saved me and treated me so kindly that I don’t need to worry anymore. You, LORD, have saved my life from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. Now I will walk at your side in this land of the living. (Psa 116:5-9 CEV)
So much more to say, but so little space and time. If you are an addict, get help. If you love an addict, get help. Whatever you do, don’t give up. For more information on recovery from addictions from a Christian perspective, go to www.fcftucson.org and click on “Book Nook”. You will find “God Help Me, I Can’t Stop!” and “Seven Principles of Recovery.” These are our two books on the subject. If you would like information on starting a recovery group in your town, email us or call the office at 520-792-FCFT. One of our group leaders will contact you. If you or a loved one need residential treatment and are willing to do whatever is necessary to recover, visit www.miraclecenter.org, or call 520.808.0746 (women) / 520.409.9603 (men). Let’s hit back at this scourge of our modern day.