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.”
Once a person looks inside, the result is to agree with God. In other words, confession. It is the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. For a person to have a relationship with God, they must agree with God about it. Sin is inside every person. It is evil—and it deserves punishment. When a sinner honestly confesses the blackness of their iniquity before God, they can thank God for the cleansing blood of Jesus shed on their account.
Someone in recovery must have the courage to consecrate themselves to God and not hold back. They must have the courage to face the depth, the breadth, and the blackness of their sin, or the pain it has caused them, others, and even God himself. An addict must let go of their denial, excuses, and self-justifications. Then, they can muster the courage to move into unknown territory–confession, surrendering, and consecration. Attending a Life Recovery Group will help.
The Lord wants a person in recovery to face the unknown, knowing that He is already ahead of them. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong. Take Courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
While the darkness of one’s heart can seem too scary to investigate, God will instill courage in anyone who asks Him. Finally, in the words of John Wayne, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
by Mark Verkler