What’s the first important milestone in a child’s life? Ask any parent and they’ll tell you about the first time their child took his or her first steps—alone.
But there are other important firsts in life such as:
- First day of school
- First friend
- First car
- First date
- First kiss
- First job
- First apartment
There’s a time for every first in our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
Every season of our lives has a purpose—whether we experience tremendous blessings or are in the depths of despair. But if we let Him, God can use both the good times and the bad in our lives to mold us into the person He wants us to be.
3 B’s to Recovery
If you struggle with an addiction, though, it may seem as if God has abandoned you. Thankfully, He hasn’t. However, you do need to take that first important step.
What’s the first step in the 12 Steps of Life Recovery?
“We admitted that we were powerless over our problems—that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Don’t know where to start? Here are 3 principles to get you going.
- Be Brave
Be brave and face your issues. For example, Joshua is a good example of how we can face our issues. After Moses died, Joshua had to lead the Israelites into the Promise Land. Did he feel scared? You bet!So, how did God encourage him? God reminded Joshua that He’ll always be with him: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1:9).If you don’t think you have a problem and can quit your habit anytime, try keeping a journal for a few weeks to record your behavior. Then go back through your journal to see if you have any signs or symptoms of addiction.Here are a few symptoms:
- Extreme mood change
- Missing work/school
- Use it to escape problems
- Isolate from family/friends
- Tolerance level has increased
- Unable to stop
- Withdrawal symptoms if you stop or cut back
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you might have an addiction. The right place to start is to be courageous—admit to yourself that you have a problem.
Don’t let any negative self-talk or lies from the enemy keep you from getting help. Being honest and admitting to yourself that you have an addiction is actually a sign of bravery. And when you feel afraid, trust that God is with you. You’ll gain strength and courage like Joshua did.
- Be Blunt
Have you watched pornography since you were a teen? Do you eat normally in front of other people, then binge on junk food when you’re alone?Almost. Every. Day.If so, let’s face it: You have a problem. And the most step you’ll ever make in your recovery is to be blunt and open up to a safe person about your problem. This could be an accountability partner, friend, pastor, support group leader, or counselor.We read in James 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”If you can open up to another person that you trust and be blunt about your problem, then you’re on the fast track to healing.
- Be Bold
Your next step is to boldly pursue your own healing. Jesus told the disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it,” (Matthew 16:24-25). How has your life become unmanageable? It could be that you struggle with overeating or not eating, shopping or hoarding, pornography or infidelity, gambling or lying. Whatever you’ve been holding onto, you need to get into recovery so that you can learn how to give it up and “take up your cross.” You alone are responsible for your healing. But you still need to get help by going to a licensed Christian counselor, treatment facility, and support group.
So…are you ready to take the first step?
Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I’m powerless over my problems. My life has become unmanageable. I can’t overcome my addictions without getting help. I pray that you’ll help me to find the right counselor and support group to walk this journey with me.