What will a person battling addiction do to stop using? The first thing they may do is try to correct their behavior. Therefore, they will white-knuckle it, try another weight loss program, read self-help books, or turn to another addiction.
Most programs, self-help methods, and diets often only focus on one thing: correction. While correcting behavior is very important—including lifestyle changes getting enough rest, exercising, and growing spiritually—very few focus on the one key element that needs to occur for all the other steps: connection!
Without connection with other people, it is almost impossible for anyone battling an addiction to change their daily routine behaviors that have become rituals and patterns. Connection is more important than correction because it brings accountability, support, awareness, and growth and deepens a person’s relationship with God and others. (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…)
“At 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…)
Is 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.
- 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.
- 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 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…)
At 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…)