Step 10, Bible Studies

Deception and Recovery

"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." Deuteronomy 5:20

The cute social media post thing strikes again. I came across this fluff ball the other day:

"Nope, I haven't seen your lipstick."

Adorable. Humorous. Human.

Indeed, this deceptive attempt at convincing did not start with our adorable pup. Rather, we need to look at history, a little further back. Let's peek in on a power couple.

Once upon a time, there was Ananias and Sapphira...Acts 5:1-11

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.

Life Choices: Thermometer or Thermostat?

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7

Senator Cory Booker, on an appearance of "The Daily Show," recently shared a powerful lesson with the audience:

"My father told me there are two ways to go through life: as a thermometer or as a thermostat. A thermometer: whatever someone says about you, you go up or down. A thermostat: you set the temperature."

Both the thermometer and the thermostat reflect life and its issues, including our stance on addiction and recovery.

And our choice has significant ramifications concerning health, well-being and prosperity. Each option offers its inevitable results.

So, it might be worth our while to ponder what those very results may mean for us.

First, the thermometer: its appeal is that self-gratifying moment. It doesn't require much work. You just let your feelings rip.

Repentance Secures Freedom from ShamePremium Content

Warning: the following will mess you up. Allow Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into all the truth concerning 'repentance'. This is a critical piece of The Message: that we believe the Gospel of Grace!

"The guilt and shame that is always associated with repentance causes this great gift to be, almost universally, thought of in a negative light and resisted rather than embraced as it should be and will be when seen correctly. " (Clark Whitten, Pure Grace - page 98).

"Repentance is the most mis-translated word in the New Testament" (Broudus). It means to change one's mind in light of new truthful information. This is the process by which believers have our minds transformed. When the truth of the finished work of Christ challenges religious mindsets, repentance allows one to embrace the new and discard the old.

By this process we grow up into the fullness of Christ. The mixture gospel taught by the vast majority of evangelicals reduces the glorious gift of repentance to a tool of behavior modification. Truth embraced will always produce freedom and correct Jesus-like thinking! The truth is--Believers are the righteousness of God (In Christ) or we are not righteous at all.

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Biblical References for the 12 Steps (Long Version)Premium Content

Note: all quotes are from the King James Version (KJV). If you have difficulty understanding the KJV we strongly recommend that you get a copy of a more modern language Bible such as The New Life Version Bible, New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Today's English Version, The Message, etc.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctions and that our lives had become unmanageable.

--For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is
good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. Romans 7:18-20

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Learning Not To Take OffensePremium Content

According to John Bevere in his book,The Bait of Satan, the bait of taking offense is the number one trap that the enemy – Satan – sets for Christians. And the closer the relationship between the people involved in the offense taken, the deeper the wound and the deeper the offense, as seen in the depth of David's suffering when he expresses his suffering after being betrayed by one near and dear to him in Psalm 55:

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What if.....Premium Content

… Jesus really meant what He said?

"I did not come to condemn, but to save."

Condemn: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil…to judge unfit for use or consumption.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … [Romans 8:1]

What if that were true?

I know—it’s a complex theological statement. But what if it were as simple as “follow Jesus” = “no condemnation”?

What if every follower of Jesus stopped judging others as “reprehensible, wrong, or evil”? Even “those people”—you know, the ones who are, well, “unfit”?

What if

We refused to make—or forward, or approve—snarky political comments?

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Learning to Live as We are Commanded

John 13:35 NKJV
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Back in the 60's, when worship choruses first began to become widely popular, a certain chorus made the rounds in the churches, "They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love" (common tune, lyrics by Peter Scholtes). The words go like this:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love

Change Requires Choices

Proverbs 2:1-5 NRSV>
My child, if you accept my words
and treasure up my commandments within you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;

if you indeed cry out for insight,
and raise your voice for understanding;
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it as for hidden treasures --
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

I was having a discussion with a woman online one day. She was explaining that she had this (sinful) compulsion and had dealt with it over and over again. She wasn't really distressed about it, just simply saying that this was who she was.

Are You Tending Your Garden?

Recovery is much like tending our own garden. A garden needs water, fertilizer, sunshine, good soil and a lot of attention by the gardener. We, as Christians and recovering people need:

  • the water of prayer, meditation, and communing with God
  • the fertilizer of fellowship
  • the "Sonshine" of resting in Him (letting go and letting God)
  • the rich soil of God's Word in which to firmly anchor our roots. Not only must we read the Word but we must *understand* it and *actively apply* it to our own lives. Roots must be anchored in the soil, they must take up the nourishment and then send it to the entire system of the plant so it may flourish.
  • a lot of attention by us, as our own gardeners, to remove all weeds that appear.

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