Beauty in the Broken Places

Beauty in the Broken PlacesAt that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.
So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” – Genesis 3:7

One of the blessings that came from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden was brokenness. How can brokenness be a blessing? As a natural outcome of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, shame caused Adam and Eve to want to hide. When God discovered Adam and Eve’s sin, they ran from Him. Adam and Eve moved out of the light and into the darkness to conceal their sin and shame. But God sought them out to redeem their brokenness.

Adam and Eve put on fig leaves to hide their nakedness until God gave them animal skins to wear as clothing. God provided lovingly for them in the depth of their shame. But they weren’t the only ones to put on fig leaves. Since then, every person after them has also tried to cover their shame. Why? Because people hide in the wilderness instead of seeking God’s presence, thinking they are too broken. It simply is not valid.

When it comes to addiction, a person stuck in addiction will first try to hide from God. That is because of shame—it makes people judge and condemn themselves. (more…)

10 Truths About Forgiveness

10 Truths About ForgivenessIs it possible for a person to forgive the unforgivable by someone they once trusted and loved? Yes! Through the grace of God, it’s possible to ignore even the worse of offenses. But because there are many myths out there, it’s essential to understand the truth about forgiveness.

  1. Forgiveness always involves the moral side of life. It consists of a sense of right and wrong, fairness and justice. It also includes a sense of love, compassion, and mercy. When someone violates a person with a seemingly unforgivable act, at least some of the victim’s values have been broken.
  2. No matter how just it may seem, revenge can never bring satisfaction. After all, it can never replace what has been destroyed. It also brings the offended down to the level of the offender. Staying with vengeful thoughts is like playing an endless—and painful—video repeatedly. (more…)

Shame vs. Conviction: Knowing the Difference

Shame and convictionShame and conviction are two different concepts, but they can be hard to differentiate. Shame can easily masquerade itself as a conviction. In addition, both produce powerful emotional reactions that result in changed behavior. Shame is a negative emotion that combines feelings of dishonor, unworthiness, and embarrassment, while true conviction is a firmly held belief or opinion. Knowing the difference is at the heart of the battle in dealing successfully with addiction. Therefore, it’s essential to understand where the resulting behaviors come out of shame and conviction lead.

In some ways, the effects of shame can be like the effects of erosion. Over the years, water can accumulate and create erosion. For example, the impact of corrosion on a dam is easy to see because the water can tear away the dam’s walls, making a small canyon for the water to escape through. (more…)

Surrendering

SurrenderingAt the point of surrender, one stops doing all that is within their power to do to fix their problems and asks God to give them His power to recover. They stop trying to control other people. Get into recovery. Address childhood traumas. And allow God to heal the wounds of their souls.

Surrendering means no longer fighting, pushing, or justifying—in other words, it is the refusal to stay in denial or blame another. Here’s another way to put it: Surrendering is giving up all excuses for their problems and looking to God as the ultimate resource. A surrendered heart no longer looks for justification to use a substance or have an unhealthy habit.

When someone eventually realizes that the road they’re on is hurting them more than the false comfort and help they’re receiving from it, they realize that to stay on this road is to choose further heartache and destruction. (more…)

10 Truths the Prodigal Son Teaches Us About Recovery

10 Truths the Prodigal Son Teaches Us About RecoveryMost of us are familiar with the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. Although we’ve heard this story countless times and in countless ways, if we struggle with addiction, it is also a timeless story that has much to show us. There are the 10 truths that the Prodigal Son teaches us about recovery.

1. We’re All Given a Choice.
The father gave the prodigal son freedom when he, “agreed to divide his wealth between his sons” (Luke 15:12b, NLT). God gives us all a choice. Although we are free to choose addiction, we are not free to choose the consequences.

2. Behind Every Addict Is an Enabler. (more…)

Is God an Essential Part of Recovery?

Is God an Essential Part of Recovery?There’s a lot of controversy over believing in a Higher Power in recovery. On one hand, some believe that God is not essential to recovery; while on the other hand, others believe God is an essential part of recovery.

Whether you’re in a Christian recovery group or a secular recovery group, those who take God more seriously and develop a conscious awareness of Him in their lives are more successful in recovery than those who don’t.

Spirituality and Sobriety
Evidence shows that those who believe in a Higher Power are more successful in recovery. Someone once asked Dr. Dave Stoop, coeditor of The Life Recovery Bible, “Is God an essential part of recovery?

Yes,” said Dr. Stoop. “Success in maintaining sobriety in recovery is directly related to the development of a personal relationship with God.” (more…)