- About CIR
- Start / Help
- Hear Hope
- Where do I Start?
- Why Christian Recovery?
- 1st Things
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Feeling far from God?
- Local Help for You
- Member's Help Center
- Info & Help
- Bible Studies
- Sex Addiction
- Training for Recovery Pros
- Anon-Those Who Love Dysfunctional People
- Eating Disorders
- Emotions & Mental Health
- Info & Help
- BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)
- Bipolar Disorder
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- Shopping Addiction
- General Recovery
- Pastors & Pros
- Physical Health
- Prison / Jail
- The Past
- 12 Steps
- What are they?
- Studies & Software
- Books on the 12 Steps
- Prayers for
- Worksheets & Workbooks
- 12 Signs
- 12 Steps Bible Studies
- Step 1
- Step 2
- Step 3
- Step 4
- Step 5
- Step 6
- Step 7
- Step 8
- Step 9
- Step 10
- Step 11
- Step 12
- Bible Studies
- 12 Step Studies
- ANON Studies
- Abuse Studies
- Addiction Studies
- Adult Children Studies
- Christian Classics
- Death Studies
- Faith Studies
- Family Studies
- Intervention Studies
- Money & Debt Studies
- Pain & Suffering Studies
- Pastors & Pros Studies
- AA & Big Book Related
- Beyond Recovery
- Bible Related
- Book Studies
- Chat & Meetings
- Group Handouts
- Pastors & Pros Tools
- Podcasts / Videos
- Signs & Symptoms
- Sponsors & Buddies
- Worksheets & Workbooks
- 12 Steps
- Compass Points
- Fellowship & Networking
- God's Will For Us
- One Day at a Time
- Peace / Serenity
- CIR Goodies
- How to Help
- Contact Us
- Log Out
The 3rd Step of the 12 Steps reads as follows:
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as revealed in the Bible.
We often confuse surrender with compliance. In compliance we grudgingly give in, hold back a part of ourselves. Our actions may appear to be going with the flow but our heart and thoughts are surely elsewhere.
Compliance leaves out the passion part. In surrender we have to be passionate about the surrender -- excited about it; having hopeful anticipation of what God can and will do when we actually surrender.
Surrender is not admitting defeat. It is not a bad thing in God's Kingdom. It is a great thing! God's economy and ways of doing things are quite often contrary to the World's ways.
In reality, we often are hypocrites -- saying or promising surrender -- but in reality not wholeheartedly "all in." And in essence we rob ourselves of the fruits of surrender. Surrender means surrendering one's entire being: heart, words, actions, emotions, thoughts, body, soul and spirit.
Scripture tells us we are to be a peculiar people:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
And, most of the time, that doesn't seem to stack up well against our limited definitions of beauty.
Yes, we have opened up more variance with image, reflecting multicultural, unique features. Still, we often seem to like to fall back on what is widely known, accepted and comfortable. Ergo, for example, tall, thin, blue eyes, blonde hair, on Caucasian skin tones.
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.
You did it again. You messed up. You’re doomed to failure, why even try? These words of condemnation ring often in the heads of those on the recovery journey. Recovery from an eating disorder, addiction, trauma or other life-altering behavior is imperfect, fraught with difficulty and pitfalls. No one wakes up one morning “cured.” There’s no quick fix, and the road to healing and sanctification is often long, hard work, and requires deep spiritual transformation.
One of the most enduring challenges when fighting the battle toward wholeness is silencing the inner critic: the condemning voice that threatens to undo all our progress as we continue our march. It holds an unattainable standard of perfection in recovery over our heads, so that when we do make a misstep or give in to weakness, we see ourselves as utter failures, rather than beloved children of an understanding Father who holds our hand each step of the way.
Accepting God’s grace, even when we fail, ignites within us
While going through some of my childhood possessions, I came across something which took on a profound meaning to me: a kitten poster.
This was the first poster I got as a six year old. I immediately was captivated by it because of its cute factor. A small kitten, hiding in a paper bag? What's not to love?
You know, the phrase, "the cat is out of the bag?" Well, I couldn't deny that ditty followed me throughout my life, eating disorder shenanigans and, of course, my disclosure of and recovery from them. After all, within my book, "Thin Enough," I wrote a poem starting the chapter on disclosure, entitled, "The Cat is Out of the Bag."
Disclosure - it is intimidating.
As we bump along in life, we often misunderstand things, especially concerning our recovery. I recently caught a cartoon which captures that reality.
In it, we see Jesus and His disciples on a fishing boat. One disciple is in a festive mood, complete with some castanet shaking. This prompts another disciple's response...
"You idiot. He said cast the nets."
Does this spotlight, once again, our human cluelessness?
Perhaps, rather, it taps into the purposeful recovery-from-addiction meaning in our lives, should we choose to embrace it.
Let's take a gander at the fishy verses...
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12
How many times do we pray this portion of what is commonly called "The Lord's Prayer" and yet fail to consider what we're asking? It is a petition, a request of God to forgive us - in the same manner and proportion in which we forgive others. Are you okay with that? Are you comfortable with receiving God's forgiveness to the same extent that you give it to others?
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 KJV
A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.Proverbs 15:18 KJV
The Bible gives us many references about the conditions and consequences of anger in our life and in the lives of people that we are in relationship with. When you can develop a way to manage the anger that has been pushed deep down in your heart and soul, life in recovery gets better.
Another consequence of addiction is that you use rage to express anger. Rage is a dangerous threatening condition that harms people and creates overwhelming fear. You can learn to express your anger without the rage. Anger is a feeling that is a part of the human experience. When you begin to express your anger without rage, you can break the cycle of rage as an expression of anger. Here are some tools that can help break the cycle. Rage is a distortion of reality.
In his book:
Addictive Thinking, Understanding Self-Deception
- by Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.
He says there are three phases of anger:
The infamous mirror. We do battle with it every single day, don't we? How many of us pick ourselves apart, critiquing, judging and hating every feature? How many of us, upon seeing our reflection, are disgusted and disappointed with what we see?
There is a use for everything, mirrors included. They serve a purpose. Let's face it -- if it weren't for mirrors, there'd be more instances of lipstick on -- and spinach in --teeth. We'd look much messier than we do when we present ourselves to the world.
But mirrors are not the end all, be all to our eternal worth and value. They are far from it.
God has been teaching me His way concerning heart health. The condition of my physical heart mirrored the state of my spiritual heart. Through a physical and spiritual heart catheterization He exposed blockages, which left untreated, would be my certain physical and spiritual demise. He exposed areas of my heart that were still wounded and thus divided. I suspect I am not alone in this process.
According to the parable of the sower, Jesus teaches that It is from our hearts that we gain all spiritual guidance and understanding.
"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop" Luke 8:15 NIV.
"All valid spiritual direction comes to us through our heart-the seat of true knowing and our "eyes and ears" in the spirit. If we discern the "will of God" it is through our heart. Knowing our true identity and destiny is achieved through our hearts as well." "Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You", pg.67, published by Shepherd's House, Inc. revised version 2000.
As a direct result of these remaining heart blockages, I was no longer able to fully hear, retain, or re-produce a good crop from the word that had been so wonderfully planted in my heart for decades. The ability to correctly discern, know and understand Papa's will or my true identity and destiny as Papa's beloved son were being robbed from me. In this state, my capacity for joy was weakened. Of course my loved ones were profoundly affected by my heart disease as well (which of course there has been profound mercy and the amazing grace of forgiveness).
When your heart has blockages, your core identity becomes at best skewed and can even lose touch with reality. You are less able to live from the new heart Jesus gave you as your birthright. You even can end up not behaving or acting like who you truly are-an adopted child of God. Probably the most devastating part of this condition is being blocked from enjoying Christ in your heart. He-of course, will never leave us or forsake us-but our intimacy with Him can be diminished.
I am being so transparent about this in hopes to impart the courage for you to ask Papa to search your heart and know truth in your inner most parts, as King David did. This is why he was "called a man after God's own heart."
The single goal of heart healing is to