One Day at a Time

Resolutions from a Recovery Perspective

It is the beginning of another year and people are making resolutions, reminiscing, and planning to make a commitment that the coming year will be a better year than this past. In some way, the stress to make and keep a resolution can make the difference between feeling as if you are a failure or you are on top of the world in every area of your life, especially your recovery.

The twelve step program teaches many excellent life skills and offers great support to those who “came to believe”. Simple messages like Keep it Simple, First Things First, and Think Think, Think, can help you make it through the day. So with all of the tools of the program and all of the support that is there for you, how is it that the good ole' New Year’s resolution can derail your confidence as far as making progress reaching goals in your recovery?

Twelve Steps to Freedom

The Twelve Steps originated with Alcoholics Anonymous in the mid 1930's. Besides being used to help alcoholics and drug addicts, the Twelve Steps have been used in support groups for family members, over-eaters, compulsive gamblers, and even for those desiring to escape from sexual addiction. These Steps formed the basis of treatment and counseling activities at New Creation Center where I served as Executive Director for ten years in the 1980's.

In the past few years, a movement recognizing the power of the Twelve Steps has sprung up among evangelical Christians concerned with those struggling with various addictions. Some believers worry that they bring secular concepts to the Christian counseling field.

From where do these Twelve Steps derive their power? The answer is very simple; from the Bible! Although following the Steps does not always bring an alcoholic (or other sufferer) into a saving relationship with Christ, they do work in overcoming addictions. This is shown by the millions of people who have found sobriety since AA's beginning. In some ways, it is very much like the businessman who succeeds financially when he makes spiritual principles the basis of his business practices.

When Loved Ones Resent Your Recovery

It is not uncommon for those who start a new life in recovery to encounter resentment from their spouses, loved ones and/or friends. If this is the case, you will be put to the test by those who care for you most. This can be confusing because those who should be encouraging you in recovery are actually making it more difficult.

Your spouse may become resentful because you are spending more time at recovery meetings and less time with them. Stand strong and lovingly explain to your spouse that you need to take time for yourself in order to get your life back on track. Suggest that they come with you to open meetings where the loved ones are welcome so they can better understand your recovery process.

Be Satisfied

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
to have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
But God, to a Christian, says:

"No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content
With being loved by Me alone,
With giving yourself totally and reservedly to me,
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.

"Discovering that only in Me
is your satisfaction to be found,
will you be capable of the perfect human relationship
that I have planned for you.
You will never be united with another
until you are united with Me alone,
exclusive of anyone or anything else,
exclusive of any other desires or longings.

Biblical References for the 12 Steps (Short Version)

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

The Poet's Sonnet (A Withered Leaf)

A withered leaf upon a bough
Held fast against the wind,
Doctors passed and learned men,
But none had time to spend.

Yet someone stands with pen in hand
To write the things he sees,
That all the world might see the leaf
And feel the Autumn breeze.

I cannot take a dying child
And help her find relief,
But I can see the hand of God
Upon a withered leaf.

The world beholds what greatness brings,
But poets see the little things.

Copyright 2000, Bob H. Cook.
All rights reserved.
Used by Permission

Used by permission.

A Christian, Sober for Years and Still an Alcoholic?

I am an alcoholic. I know what it is like to burn with a desire to drink that is so overwhelming that family, jobs, and friends mean nothing compared to the desire for liquor. I know what it is like to wake up in a hotel room not knowing where I am or how I got there. I also know the joy of complete deliverance from the power of alcohol addiction and never cease to praise God for such deliverance. ~ Jerry Dunn from God is for the Alcoholic

How can a Christian who has been sober for many years still say he is an alcoholic?

Jerry Dunn, a former president of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, caused quite a stir back when his book first came out in the sixties. Some leaders within our movement challenged him by asking, “How can you say you've experienced complete deliverance and still call yourself an alcoholic?" Even today, some Christian workers struggle with this dilemma. While his words appear to be contradictory, if we look more closely we will find some real wisdom in them.

Five Things We Must Do as Christians

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NRSV
Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

In the middle of the conclusion of Paul's letter, in between the "Timothy and Apollos may come to visit" and "Everyone here sends their love," Paul writes these short two sentences. Perhaps they should have been written at the beginning as the title for this letter (if letters had titles). Certainly, they are important not only because they summarize what Paul has been saying, but because they summarize the Christian life.

Here, Paul tells the church in Corinth to do four things:

  • Keep alert

Impenetrable to Temptation

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Psalm 46:1, Amplified Bible

What trouble am I having in my life right now? Lately, I have been struggling with a great deal of anxiety. One of the reasons for this is my lack of intimacy with God and His Word, just being still with Him. I desperately need to take time with Jesus each and every day -- at least once a day -- to just sit with Him and really talk to Him, and then spend time listening. Daily, I read His Word. But it is vital to me that I Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that [He is] God. Psalm 46:10, Amplified Bible. Psalm 46:1 shows me clearly just how beautiful and profound the results of doing so can be! Will you walk with me through what I discovered when I spent some time with Jesus and this verse?

Are You Being Forced to Wait?

"I'm sorry, but you're fired," Pete's boss told him. "You've missed too many days, and you've come in drunk or high just as many."

Pete cringed, gathered his tools, and left. The bills continued to come. He heard plenty from his wife about the lack of money and the other jobs he lost.

He had to stop drinking and drugging. He couldn't go through this agony again. He couldn't go to the same places or hang around the same people. He'd give in to the pressure and drink or use again.

Pete told almost everyone he knew he needed a job. Hopefully one of them could help him obtain one. He and his wife prayed and waited.

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