Many people want to change their lives, but there’s a difference between wanting to change and taking steps to change. Change is possible. But first, a person must be willing to change. When obstacles arise (and they will), it’s tempting to throw in the towel altogether. Instead, by changing one’s mindset, it’s possible to change one’s life for the better.
When someone sees the need for change, they have reached illumination. It is, to be precise, a light-bulb moment—the point at which a person finally understands their situation in a whole new way. As Ephesians 5:8 (MSG) says, “You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So, no more stumbling around. Get on with it.” (more…)
What is courage? Mark Twain described it best when he wrote, “Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”
In recovery, one must have the courage to look inside. Is it scary? Yes. But someone stuck in addiction must face their authentic self. Their real self is lurking in the dark underneath whatever it is that they’ve tried to ignore, deny, or cover-up. It’s so much easier for someone to focus on the darkness of other hearts, but it’s much harder to look at the darkness of one’s heart.
Psalm 32 mentions freedom comes from facing the darkness inside and letting it out into the light. The release comes from having the courage to look inside. In the New Living Translation, verse five says, “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (more…)
“This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” the psalmist wrote in Psalm 118:24.
Being joyful during these turbulent times is a challenge. But it’s easier said than done. After all, the world is brimming with trials, difficulties, and sufferings—not to mention addictions, habits, and toxic relationships. So, it’s no wonder everyone is stressed.
When a person is in recovery, what’s an excellent way to respond to the stressors of everyday life? Start by turning things over to God. In Martin Luther’s favorite Psalm, Psalm 118, verse 24 is a good reminder that “the Lord has made” every day. Every day is a glorious gift from the Father. And the best way to use the gift of today is to surrender it to God.
Step 3 of Life Recovery says, “We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.” This third step in recovery involves surrendering. (more…)
“There’s no crying in baseball,” said Tom Hanks’ character (Jimmy) in the movie, A League of Their Own. Sadly, it’s not just baseball where people are encouraged to be strong and push their emotions down but in all areas of life.
For example, in recovery, help is a challenging word. Why? Most people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. The fear of the H-word goes back to the Garden of Eden. Adam told God, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid” (Genesis 3:10, NIV).
From the world’s perspective, a person who asks for help is weak. But from God’s perspective, a person who asks for help is brave—after all, they are courageous enough to admit they can’t make it on their own. (more…)
Denial is a loophole that leads a person stuck in addiction to avoid the light of God. Denial provides them a way of alleviating the stress of their shame by refusing to face it. Shame is an intense fear of being—it is a corrosive belief that one is fatally flawed, unlovable, and deserving of rejection from others who are deemed worthy and perceived as merciless all at once.
If a person with an unhealthy habit does not face the pain that their addiction has caused themselves and others, they will not confess or own up to it. As a result, they will continue to turn to their addiction to find momentary relief from the burden of their shame.
Shame, however, may allow a person struggling with addiction to focus attention on the welfare of God and others above their own. (more…)