Archive for July, 2012

Is God Real?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16, NKJV)

I recently posted this quote on my Facebook page: “The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without Jesus.” I had quite a few responses, all positive except one. A man I don’t know responded that though he had once been a monk and had read the Bible through countless times, he did not believe that anyone could know for certain that God existed or that He cares for us.

That was one of the saddest statements I’ve ever heard, though he’s certainly not the first to voice it. But the minute I read it I began to pray that the Lord would give this man “ears to hear” and a heart to respond to the still, small voice of God, wooing and calling him to the Father’s heart. The most recent post from this man was that he would stop speaking and just listen to see if what I said about God is true. Of course, I’m believing that our faithful Lord will show him that it is.

Isn’t it an amazing thing that someone who once read the Scriptures regularly and had seemingly devoted his life to serving God could come away from that experience not knowing if God even exists? And yet the Bible is clear that without the Spirit of God living inside us it is impossible to know God intimately or to understand anything He says.

That’s why this verse in Romans 8 is so important. Once we have received Christ as Savior and His Spirit has come to dwell in us, how can we ever doubt His existence or His love for us? He lives inside of us, and He continually assures us that we belong to Him. We are His children, and He will never leave or abandon us. Regardless of what goes on around us, what difficulties we encounter or sufferings we endure, we KNOW that we KNOW that we KNOW that God is real, He loves us, and we belong to Him—forever. There is nothing anyone can say or do to convince us otherwise.

But just as surely as we know these things to be true, those who do not have the Spirit of God living in them cannot know or understand them. We can’t arm wrestle or argue anyone into the Kingdom, but we can pray that God will reveal Himself to them so they too can invite God’s Spirit to come and dwell inside them. When they do, all doubt will be gone, washed away by the blessed assurance that they belong to Him—forever and always.

Pray with me for this former monk and so many others like him, will you? Only God’s Spirit can bring the peace and assurance they need to know beyond doubt that they will never again experience the greatest tragedy of all—life without Jesus.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2009-2012 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:

Deliver Me From Evil, (finalist for the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year Award) and Special Delivery.
No Greater Love, More than Conquerors

The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

Sponsorship and Codependency

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Falling into codependency is a real danger for both sponsors and sponsees in recovery. First, some definitions to clarify what is being discussed here:

Sponsor: a mentor, an accountability partner, someone with whom you can share and ask questions and get guidance regarding recovery, the tools of recovery and the 12 Steps. A sponsor guides, teaches, advises, helps and encourages–always keeping the sponsee on track in recovery. A sponsor promotes genuine growth and change in the sponsee by holding them accountable. A sponsor provides a model for the sponsee to follow, helps them to reach their recovery goals more effectively and helps them grow spiritually. Sponsors must be well grounded in recovery, spiritually mature and have a long track record in recovery. Sponsors are *not* professional counselors and must never act as such. They must only share their own experience, strength, faith and hope.

Sponsee: someone who is looking for direction in recovery, desires to grow, wants to learn the tools of recovery and is willing to be accountable to a mentor. A sponsee can be brand new to recovery or someone who has been in recovery a long time.

Codependency: depending on another person or people to meet your needs, “fix” you and/or to make you “happy.” Codependency is the inability to be fulfilled and/or feel good about yourself without the approval of another person. Codependent people have a greater tendency to get involved in relationships with people who are unreliable, emotionally unavailable, or needy (codependent) themselves. The codependent person may try to provide and control everything
within the relationship without addressing their own needs or desires; setting themselves up for continued unfulfillment. This creates problems that continue to recycle–the problems continue into each new relationship.

To avoid the pitfalls of codependency and promote true, lasting recovery both the sponsor and sponsee must learn to set healthy boundaries. **Use the tools of recovery not your sponsor. Sponsors can not “fix” sponsees or make them recover. They can only share their own experience, strength, hope and faith. It is up to the sponsee to learn what the tools are for recovery and then to use those tools (not their sponsor).

Many people who are only a few months into recovery become excited about their new life and want to share what they have learned. They want to help and sponsor others. They are like race horses out of the starting gate. They want to “fix” everyone around them. Becoming a sponsor too early is damaging to them and to those they are trying help.

Recovery is all about the 12 Steps and God. It is not your sponsor or sponsee. It is about developing a healthy relationship with yourself, others and above all God. No sponsor can fix you, meet your needs or make you feel better about yourself. Only you, working with God, can do that. There is no substitute for prayer, meditation, reading and studying God’s Word.

More information on Sponsorship may be found here:
http://christians-in-recovery.org/Tools_Sponsors

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Not a member yet? Join us!

Guidelines for a Better You

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

In your affairs, create suspense. Admiration at their novelty means respect for your success. It’s neither useful nor pleasurable to show all your cards. Not immediately revealing everything fuels anticipation, especially when a person’s elevated position means expectations are greater. It bespeaks mystery in everything and, with this very secrecy, arouses awe. Even when explaining yourself, you should avoid complete frankness, just as you shouldn’t open yourself up to everyone in all your dealings. Cautious silence is the refuge of good sense. A decision openly declared is never respected; instead, it opens the way to criticism, and if things turn out badly, you’ll be unhappy twice over. Imitate divinity’s way of doing things to keep people attentive and alert.

The height of perfection. No one is born complete; perfect yourself and your activities day by day until you become a truly consummate being, your talents and your qualities all perfected. This will be evident in the excellence of your taste, the refinement of your intellect, the maturity of your judgement, the purity of your will. Some never manage to be complete; something is always missing. Others take a long time. The consummate man, wise in word and sensible in deed, is admitted into, and even sought out for, the singular company of the discreet.
Don’t arouse excessive expectations from the start. Everything initially highly praised is commonly discredited when it subsequently fails to live up to expectation. Reality can never match our expectations, because it’s easy to imagine perfection, and very difficult to achieve it. Imagination weds desire and then conceives things far greater than they actually are. However great anything excellent is, it’s never enough to satisfy our idea of it and, misled by excessive expectation, we’re more likely to feel disillusionment than admiration. Hope is a great falsifier of truth. Good should rectify this, making sure enjoyment surpasses desire. Good beginnings serve to arouse curiosity, not to guarantee the outcome. Things turn out better when the reality exceeds our initial idea and is greater than we anticipated. This rule doesn’t apply where bad things are concerned. Here exaggerated expectation is helpful, for reality thankfully contradicts it, and what was greatly feared can in fact even seem tolerable.
Never exaggerate. Take great care not to speak in superlatives, whether to avoid offending truth or tarnishing your good sense. Exaggeration is an excess of esteem and indicates a lack of knowledge and taste. Praise arouses curiosity, goads desire, and if, as normally happens, true worth falls short of the initial evaluation, our expectation turns against the deception and gets even by scorning both the praiser and the praised. The wise take their time, then, and would rather understate than overstate. True greatness in things is rare; temper your esteem. Exaggeration is a form of lying; using it, you lose your reputation for having good taste, which is bad, and for being knowledgeable, which is worse.
Never lose your self-respect. Even when alone, don’t be too lax with yourself. Let your own integrity be the measure of your rectitude; owe more to the severity of your own opinion than to external rules. Stop yourself doing something improper more through fear of your own good sense than of some stern external authority. Stand in fear of yourself and you will have no need of Seneca’s imaginary tutor.
Never lose your composure. A prime aim of good sense: never lose your cool. This is proof of true character, of a perfect heart, because magnanimity is difficult to perturb. Passions are the humours of the mind and any imbalance in them unsettles good sense, and if this illness leads us to open our mouths, it will endanger our reputation. Be so in control of yourself that, whether things are going well or badly, nobody can accuse you of being perturbed and all can admire your superiority.
Don’t be uneven, or inconsistent in your actions: either through inclination or choice. The sensible man is always the same in all areas of perfection, this being a mark of intelligence. He should change only because the causes and merits of the situation do. Where good sense is concerned, variety is ugly. There are some who are different every day; uneven in their understanding, more so in their will, and even in their luck. What they approved of yesterday, they disapprove of today, forever negating their own reputation and confounding others’ opinion of them.
Choose a heroic model, more to emulate than to imitate. There are examples of greatness, living texts of renown. Select the best in your own area, not so much to follow as to surpass. Alexander wept, not for Achilles in his tomb, but for himself, not yet risen to universal fame. Nothing so incites ambition within the spirit as the trumpeting of another’s fame: it demolishes envy and inspires noble actions.
Understand yourself: your temperament, intellect, opinions, emotions. You can’t be master of yourself if you don’t first understand yourself. There are mirrors for the face, but none for the spirit: let discreet self-reflection be yours. And when you cease to care about your external image, focus on the inner one to correct and improve it. Know how strong your good sense and perspicacity are for any undertaking and evaluate your capacity for overcoming obstacles. Fathom your depths and weigh up your capacity for all things.
Don’t hang around to be a setting sun. The sensible person’s maxim: abandon things before they abandon you. Know how to turn an ending into a triumph. Sometimes the sun itself, whilst still shining brilliantly, goes behind a cloud so nobody can see it setting, leaving people in suspense over whether it has or not. To avoid being slighted, avoid being seen to decline. Don’t wait until everyone turns their back on you, burying you alive to regret but dead to esteem. Someone sharp retires a racehorse at the right time, not waiting until everyone laughs when it falls in mid-race. Let beauty astutely shatter her mirror when the time is right, not impatiently and too late when she sees her own illusions shattered in it.
Get used to the bad temperaments of those you deal with, like getting used to ugly faces. This is advisable in situations of dependency. There are horrible people you can neither live with nor live without. It’s a necessary skill, therefore, to get used to them, as to ugliness, so you’re not surprised each time their harshness manifests itself. At first they’ll frighten you, but gradually your initial horror will disappear and caution will anticipate or tolerate the unpleasantness.
Never complain. Complaining always brings discredit. It incites the passionate to disrespect you more than the compassionate to console you. It paves the way for anyone who hears it to follow suit and, learning of the first person’s insult, makes the second feel theirs is excusable. By complaining of past offences, some people create the basis for future ones, and seeking help or comfort, they encounter only satisfaction and even disdain. A better policy is to celebrate the benefits received from some so others will imitate them. To enumerate favours received from those who are absent is to solicit them from those present; it’s to sell the credit due to the former to the latter. A circumspect man never makes public either slights or flaws, only the marks of esteem received, for these serve to maintain friends and restrain enemies.
Avoid familiarity when dealing with people. It should be neither used nor permitted. Anyone who does will lose the superiority which stems from dignity, and so lose esteem. The stars, precisely because they remain so distant, maintain their splendour. Divinity demands respect; familiarity breeds contempt. With human affairs, the greater the familiarity, the lower the esteem, because communication reveals the imperfections which reserve concealed. Familiarity is not advisable with anyone: with your superiors, because it’s dangerous; with your inferiors, because unseemly; and especially not with the rabble who, being stupid and so insolent, will not recognize the favour shown them and will take it as their due. Familiarity is a form of vulgarity.
Know how to appreciate. There’s no one who can’t be better than someone at something, and none who excel who can’t be excelled. Knowing how to enjoy the best in everyone is a useful form of knowledge. The wise appreciate everyone, recognizing the good in all and knowing how much it costs to do things well. Fools despise everyone because they are ignorant of the good and choose the worst.
Undertake what’s easy as if it were hard, and what’s hard as if it were easy. In the first case, so that confidence doesn’t make you careless; in the second, so that lack of confidence doesn’t make you discouraged. It takes nothing more for something not to be done than thinking that it is. Conversely, diligence removes impossibilities. Don’t think over great undertakings, just seize them when they arise, so that consideration of their difficulty doesn’t hold you back.
Take a joke, but don’t make someone the butt of one. The first is a form of politeness; the second, of audacity. Whoever gets annoyed at some fun appears even more like a beast than they actually are. An excellent joke is enjoyable; to know how to take one is a mark of real character. Getting annoyed simply prompts others to poke fun again and again. Know how far to take a joke, and the safest thing is not to start one. The greatest truths have always arisen from jokes. Nothing demands greater care and skill: before making a joke, know just how far someone can take one.
Carry things through. Some people put everything into the beginning, and finish nothing. They come up with something, but never press on with it, revealing their fickle character. They never receive any praise because they don’t press on with anything; everything ends with nothing being ended. In others, this arises out of impatience, a characteristic vice of the Spanish, just as patience is a virtue of the Belgians. The latter finish things, the former finish with them. They sweat until a difficulty is overcome, and are happy simply to conquer it, but they don’t know how to carry their victory through; they show they have the ability, but not the desire. This is always a defect, arising from taking on the impossible or from fickleness. If an undertaking is good, why not finish it? And if it’s bad, why was it started? The shrewd should kill their prey, not give up after flushing it out.
Don’t be carried away by the last person you meet. There are people who believe the last thing they hear, stupidity always going to one extreme or the other. Their feelings and desires are wax: the most recent thing stamps itself upon them and effaces everything else. They are never fully won over because they are just as easily lost: anyone can dye them to match their own colour. They make bad confidants and remain forever like children: with their opinions and emotions ever changing, and their will and judgement crippled, they veer along, tilting this way and that.
Go with the flow, but not beyond decency. Don’t always be affectedly solemn and annoyed. This is part of good manners. To gain everyone’s affection, you must dispense with a little dignity. You can sometimes follow the crowd, but not into indecency, for whoever is taken for a fool in public will never be thought wise in private. More is lost in one day of relaxation than was ever gained with seriousness. But don’t always stand out from the rest: to be an exception is to condemn everyone else. Far less affect fastidiousness – leave that to women. Even in spiritual matters, this is ridiculous. The best thing about a man is acting like a man. Whilst a woman can gracefully affect a manly air, the reverse is never the case.
Act as though always on view. The insightful man is the one who sees that others see or will see him. He knows that walls have ears, and that what’s badly done is always bursting to come out. Even when alone, he acts as though seen by everyone, knowing that everything will eventually be known. He looks on those who will subsequently hear of his actions as witnesses to them already. The person who wanted everyone to see him wasn’t daunted that others could see into his house from outside.

~ From “Maxims of Baltasar Gracián” by Baltasar Gracián y Morales, (January 8, 1601 – December 6, 1658)

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Not a member yet? Join us!

Keeping Suffering in Perspective

Monday, July 16th, 2012

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time–are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!” Romans 8:18

Paul compares present sufferings–with future glory.

Believers are exposed to all kinds of suffering, and instead of obtaining an exemption from afflictions–they are assured that it is through much tribulation that they must enter into the kingdom of God.

Some endure inward suffering, with which no one is fully acquainted but God Himself. They have such darkness, gloom, distress, agitation, trouble, and sorrow–as would not be easy to describe.

Some suffer much in body, from the stressed and disordered state of the nervous system, from chronic diseases, or deformities in the physical frame. They seldom move without suffering, and for years together have but little freedom from weakness and pain. They live a life of suffering, a kind of dying life–and think much of heaven as of a place where there is no more pain.

Some suffer much financially; scarcely anything seems to prosper with them; losses, crosses, and opposition meet them at every turn; and though they live honestly, and conduct their business honorably–they are thwarted, hindered, and filled with perplexity. No one can tell what they suffer from financial trials and difficulties.

Others suffer from reproach, misrepresentation, strife, and persecution in the world, or in the Church–or both! No one seems to understand them, or is prepared to sympathize with them; they are like “a sparrow alone upon the house-top.” False friends and open enemies unite to trouble and distress them, so that they often sigh, and say, “O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest!”

Others in the domestic circle, or from some of the relationships of life–are called to suffer long and seriously.

But whether from trouble of mind, sickness of body, trials in business, family difficulties, or persecution for Christ’s sake–all suffer, and most believers suffer much!

But compare their present sufferings–with their future glory:
Glory which will exclude all pain and suffering, all sin and sorrow!
Glory beyond the reach of all foes and the cause of all trouble!
Glory which includes happiness–perfect, perpetual, never-ending happiness!
Glory which includes honor–the highest, holiest, and most satisfying honor!
Glory, or splendor–which will fill the soul, clothe the body, and dignify the entire person forever!

Filled with light, peace, and joy; clothed with beauty, brightness, and magnificence–they will appear with Christ in glory–filling them with wonder and unutterable delight!

This glory will be possessed by us–as part of our marriage portion and inalienable inheritance. But we can form no adequate idea of that glory, for “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined–what God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9

~ James Smith, “No Comparison!” 1862

Are You Angry with God?

Friday, July 13th, 2012

“The Lord asked: Have you any right to be angry?” Jonah 4:4

Jonah quarreled with his God. And who has not? We may not speak as plainly as he did–but we have been in the same sullen temper, and manifested the same morose spirit.

Very few are well satisfied with the Lord’s plans.

Fewer still are always pleased with the Lord’s works.

How many quarrel with His sovereignty!
What hard things have been spoken against it!

How many complain of His providence–and think it
unwise, unkind, and almost unjust!

Beloved, we are often angry with God!
This temper shows itself . . .
in fretfulness,
in complaining,
in sullen gloom.

“Have you any right to be angry?”

Angry with your Father . . .
whose wisdom is infinite,
whose love is as constant as the day, and
who constantly showers His blessings upon you!

Angry with your God, who has . . .
pardoned all your heinous sins,
provided for your innumerable needs,
blessed you with countless spiritual blessings!

Surely it is a sin, a grievous sin, not to be pleased . . .
with all that He does,
with all that He has provided,
and with all that He requires.

“Have you any right to be angry?”

~ James Smith

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Not a member yet? Join us!

Knowing Jesus as Savior

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord.
1 Samuel 2:12, NKJV

Sad statements and passages abound in the Scriptures, but none sadder than the one above. Eli was a priest, and yet the Bible tells us that his sons were corrupt and “they did not know the Lord.” We all experience heartbreaking events and situations in our lives, but as a parent I can’t think of anything worse than my children not knowing the Lord. In fact, that is the prayer of my heart daily — that not only my children but also my grandchildren and great grandchildren will also know and serve and love the Lord.

I must admit there are times I get sidetracked from the passion of praying for that result in my family’s lives. When things are going well — they’re happily married, have good jobs, enjoy excellent health — I almost forget how temporal that is. I remember a lady once told me she’d rather have her son on death row in prison serving Jesus than enjoying an easy life as a CEO of a large company and living in a mansion without knowing the Savior. Her words shocked me at first, until I considered the truth of her statement. Of course, none of us wants to see someone we love spending time in prison, but when we remember that our time on this earth is but a blink of an eye in relation to eternity, it changes our perspective, doesn’t it?

Today I am making a recommitment to pray with passion, not only for my own family but for everyone who crosses my path and does not know Jesus as Savior. I want to be able to say of each of them that they truly “know the Lord,” for then I can also say, in the words of 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” May this be so as we pray with passion for those who need to bow their knee to the Name above all names, the Name of Jesus!

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2009-2012 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:

Deliver Me From Evil, (finalist for the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year Award) and Special Delivery.
No Greater Love, More than Conquerors

The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

The Gift of You

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

As we prepare for our ride, I have a question for you:

Do you underestimate what you have to offer?

Most of us tend to discount our potential to contribute. Someone else can do it better, so we leave it to them.

I used to tell students to get used to an inescapable fact: nobody’s “best” at everything. There’s always somebody smarter, taller, bigger, faster, stronger, more articulate, or better-looking.

It’s an important reality that’s often taken to a false conclusion. It’s easy to sit back and let somebody else do it—whatever “it” happens to be. If you’re not the best, why bother?

Why bother? Because you’re unique. You have something special to offer, something nobody else can bring to the table. If you sit quietly, everyone loses. We need the gift of you.

I’m grateful for your presence here. I’m happy, and a bit astonished, that you take time to read my words. But—do you understand how much we need the gifts of your ideas and perspectives?

It’s easy to imagine you have nothing important to say or someone else can say it better. But you can’t know that. You can’t know the impact your thoughts might have on me or on other readers. You might be the person God wants to use to reach someone across the world.

You may never know the impact when you click the “leave a comment” link. We bring what we have. He uses and multiplies it.

God doesn’t need the “right” person or the perfect words. He needs you and me and everyone else in this circle.

Students always said they learned from each other, often better than they learned from the teacher. So I’d challenge them: You’re special. When you keep your questions and ideas to yourself you deny someone else the chance to benefit from your uniqueness.

You, too.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Depend

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

We’re on the threshold of a new adventure, completing the final stages of traveling and preparing to meet our team and get going on the ride from Cincinnati to DC.

You know what that’s like. Anticipation, excitement, wondering if you’re ready and what you forgot at home and how it’ll all come together. You’ve been there, right?

It’s easy to feel distracted and scattered, to get your mind going in a thousand directions, to imagine all the possible “what if’s.” It’s a time when you need focus and calm. For me, it’s a time to recall this bit of advice.

Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God. Mark Batterson

I have a role. I need to do what I can, as well as I can. It’s not the time to sit back, relax, and let God handle everything. He wants me as a hard-working partner who’s willing to spend my gifts wisely. He depends on me to do my part.

God has a role, too. We’re partners. It’s a time to stay connected, to share my dreams and fears, to listen. It’s a time to trust Him to handle His role. Hope—confident expectation—assures me I can depend on Him.

The threshold of an adventure is a good place to stop and remember God’s your partner.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Fires, Floods, and Storms – Where is God?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Fires char thousands of acres and destroy hundreds of homes in the western U.S. Deadly storms in eastern states leave millions without power in sweltering heat. Floods displace entire communities. It’s enough to leave us wondering when the frogs and locusts will show up.

Where’s God?

Ever asked that question? I have, and I’ll bet you have too. When it seems like the world’s disintegrating around us, it’s easy to wonder what God’s up to.

Then I think about the people helped by International Justice Mission, those living in slavery, trafficked illegally, or forced into the sex trade. I think about children robbed of opportunity and dignity.

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.” Abraham Lincoln

I want to believe Mr. Lincoln was right. I believe God is just, but when I see all that happens in the world, I have to admit—I don’t get it.

And that’s the key. I don’t get it. I’m not supposed to. He’s God. I’m not. It’s good to remember that.

Jesus told this parable:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

It’s easy to focus on wise and foolish builders, on homes build on rock and sand. But I think it’s important to notice that both men experienced exactly the same storm. Wise and foolish doesn’t change the storm.

I don’t get why God allows horrible circumstances and a broken world to persist. I don’t get why He permits devastating storms. But I don’t have to get it. That’s not my job. My job is to follow.

And when a storm happens, following means doing what I can to help the victims.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Humility in Recovery

Friday, July 6th, 2012

In recovery, we need to stay focused on the path ahead. There are many obstacles that can effortlessly obstruct our growth process. One deadly sin that we should always steer clear of is pride. Anyone in recovery is extremely susceptible to external hindrances because we were once slaves to them during our addiction. Outside hindrances can include numerous things, such as shame, resentment, fear, self-centeredness, and pride, among other things. If we are to evade these hazardous obstacles, we should harbor and uphold a humble spirit. Once we are finally clean and sober, have gone to meetings, and have worked the program, we learn that God alone can cure us of our past sins. We must surrender our will and our lives over to the care of God. And this, my friends, requires an act of humility.

Our Heavenly Father loves us all so very much that He will disregard and forget our past life of sin. Here’s an example from

Psalm 51: 5-10:
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inwards parts,
And in the hidden part
You will make me know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop,
and I shall be clean;
Wash me,
and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
that the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

The moment we finally surrender our lives to God, we are saved from our sins. As we march forth in humility, we are showered with mercy and the all-powerful love of God.

The Bible states in Matthew 5: 3-5 that
Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek [humble], For they shall inherit the earth.

God provides guidance and comfort to those who possess a humble spirit. Those of us who think that we do not need Heavenly guidance are fools because God will distance Himself from anyone who is cursed with arrogance. When we remain humble and request God’s guidance, He will give us the ability to prevail over all the obstacles on our path, while renewing our power and helping us triumph over hardship. Humility is the necessary ingredient for triumph and success.

The Pioneer members of early Alcoholics Anonymous discovered the cure to alcoholism. That cure was Jesus Christ, and even the founders of A.A. recognized this. The early members of A.A. had a 75% to 93% success rate as they dedicated their lives to Christ, while living by Christian-based ideals and principles. They learned the true significance of humility and complete surrender.

Those of us in recovery today should understand that the only way to unearth true life is to submit it to God through Jesus Christ. As we turn our will and our lives over to Jesus, He will cleanse us of our addiction and show us the road to true peace and serenity-a life that is free of sinful dependency. As we pursue the teachings of the Bible, we will find meaning in our present life and ever-lasting peace with our Creator.

Matthew 10:39 states:
He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Now that we are treading the path toward full recovery, we require God’s assistance to keep us from stumbling. To ensure Heavenly guidance on our path, we need to humbly confess our sins to one another. This is one aspect of the recovery process that requires humility.

James 5: 16 in the Bible explains,
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

As we step forth with a humble heart, we are blessed with peace of mind, and are healed from all unrighteousness.

John 14: 27 states:
I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Humility is a tremendously imperative spiritual principle that should be embraced and utilized by everyone in recovery. Living in humility will enable us all to acquire the fruits of the Spirit.

Galatians 5: 22-25 explains,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desire. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. As we confess our sins and turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, we are reborn in the Spirit.

We become new creatures in Christ, able to triumph over anything that could hinder our forward growth. The love of God washes over us and cleanses us of all unrighteousness. We are born again into the Kingdom of Light. We learn that if we ever need the guidance of our Heavenly Father, then all we need to do is ask.

Philippians 4: 6-7 states:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Good luck to all, and to all a good recovery.

By Terry D.

Christians in Recovery

CIR Members can respond in the
CIR Message Boards

Not a member yet? Join Us!