What is the Prerequisite for Sobriety?Nowadays, most people think only of themselves. They want things done their way and in their time. Even some of the world’s most successful people try to promote why we should put ourselves first and be proud of ourselves and our achievements.

We should be grateful for the talents, skills, and gifts God has given us. There’s nothing wrong with this type of pride, but the kind of pride in which we become self-focused and self-elevating is wrong. Pride won’t help us in recovery. Instead, what we need most of all is humility.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines humility as “freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble.”

When the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in Heaven, it should not come as a surprise that Christ silenced the argument by mentioning humility when He said, “Anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matt. 18:4, New Living Translation).

Humility won’t keep you from turning back to addiction again, but it can save you a ton of grief. Humility doesn’t change your circumstances, but it helps you submit to God’s purposes no matter the circumstances. Humility cannot speed up answers to prayer but accelerates the acceptance of God’s will. Humility doesn’t make decisions for you but inclines your heart toward decisions consistent with God’s plan. Humility doesn’t earn you more of God’s love but helps you experience God’s love more deeply.

For these reasons, the Bible has a great deal to say about humility:

  • Psalm 25:9 says, “He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way…”
  • Psalm 147:6 says, “The Lord supports the humble…”
  • Proverbs 11:2 says, “…with humility comes wisdom.”
  • Proverbs 22:4 says, “True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.”
  • Isaiah 57:15 says, “…I restore the crushed spirit of the humble.”
  • Matthew 23:12 says, “…those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
  • James 4:6 says, “…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

For all its benefits and blessings, humility is a necessary virtue for recovery. In fact, you might even consider it to be the prerequisite to sobriety. To study more about humility, read The Life Recovery Bible.

Finally, consider the words of the early twentieth-century preacher and theologian Oswald Chambers who described humility as “the great characteristic of a saint.”

by Steve Arterburn