Not affiliated with or endorsed by any 12-step program
Whether it’s the force of gravity, entropy, or the curse, there is always resistance in life. We talk about taking the path of least resistance or taking the easy way out. Most advertising is geared toward comfort and entertainment, things that avoid resistance. The flesh certainly doesn’t like resistance.
People don’t naturally like resistance. It’s easier to “go with the flow” but that usually means going backwards. Of course a life with no resistance equates to becoming fat, lazy, passive, and unfulfilled. To have a meaningful, purposeful life will require facing and overcoming resistance.
Addictions are the result of avoiding resistance. That is why I don’t promise an easy path to sobriety and recovery. There is a lot of help available and sobriety and recovery are certainly God’s will, but you will surely experience a lot of resistance in the process. You might as well face it and use it to your benefit....
It is not unusual to get stuck in the recovery process. This can take the form of stronger-than-usual temptations and cravings, boredom, loneliness, and sometimes slips and relapses. The best solution can be to double down on good recovery activities: call your sponsor, attend extra meetings, and spend more time with addiction recovery resources like books, counselors, etc.
But what if you are doing the right things, but still feel like you aren’t making the progress that you should be? It could be that you are spending too much time on recovery topics. It may be time to explore some growth topics and activities that aren’t directly related to addiction recovery. It may be time to expand your focus to include other things.
The first few times that I drove a car, my eyes would look at the hood, trying to keep the car lined up with my lane. The instructor said, No, look farther out to where you want the car to go. That will keep you in your lane.
For much of my driving...
Lasting growth and change requires letting go, surrendering, giving up control. The very first reading at each of my 12-step meetings is a reminder of this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” If this prayer is going to be answered—and if growth and change are my true desires—then I have to let some things go.
Surrender can have the image of me standing with a weapon over my head, ready to yield to an enemy. It implies defeat, capture, and a loss of freedom. But there is a positive side to this: the enemy that I am surrendering to may be better than the current ally that I am serving. It is said that in some wars, enemy combatants were surrendering in droves because they were fighting for oppressive regimes and knew that they were better off in the hands of their captors.
This picture is quite accurate in my relationship to God. It’s hard to...
In Identity - Part 1, I talked about the importance of “I am” statements and how they relate to personal identity and behavior. I have given a lot of thought to my own identity and what is really true about me.
For me as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, it has to start with my identity in Christ and how God sees me. If you aren’t born again spiritually, this approach may not make sense to you, and I suggest that you read the posts on salvation.
Most of these are personalizations of scriptural statements that I have written in my journal. Because of the power of “I am” statements, I have tried to phrase them that way. The idea isn’t necessarily for you to take my statements as your own, but just to give you an example of what I see as my true identity. However, these things are as true for any believer as they are for me.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in...
NOTE: While this is not an official 12-step site and is not endorsed by any 12-step program, I am going to give a disclaimer about this post. This is the first post where I am going to openly question some 12-step dogma. This is not to question the way 12-step programs operate in this particular area, nor am I suggesting that you try to change things in your own group. I am only relating an important part of my own journey. The views expressed here are my own.
“Hi, I am Rick and I am a sexaholic.”
This is the way I have introduced myself in a lot of 12-step meetings since 2016 (I still attend two meetings a week). “I am” is a statement of identity. It tells me who I am, or at least how I see myself.
“I am” statements are significant in the Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ used them throughout the gospel of John to establish who He was (and is). Here are just three:
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me...
There are certain words in the Bible that travel together. Glory and grace are such a pair and can often be seen in close proximity to each other. Paul uses the grace, mercy, and peace triplets in introducing his letters. Mercy and truth sometimes meet together and righteousness and peace have been seen kissing each other (see Psalm 85:10).
I like to call words like this “companions” to each other. Noticing these patterns can help amplify the meaning and significance of each individual word. They can give a sense of balance to each characteristic that the word describes.
I have a good friend that is kind. She describes herself as kind and I can definitely see that about her. I am thankful for the kindness she has shown to me. Because her kindness is such a beautiful characteristic, I have been thinking a lot about how to have more of it my life.
Here is a definition of kindness from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition...
I love porn.
What a crazy statement. I loved the very thing that was destroying my marriage, my ministry, and my purpose and happiness in life. And yet, I can remember thinking this and even saying it out loud over the years. How could my heart be attached to something so evil and destructive?
The answer is based on a simple statement made by our Lord Jesus Christ:
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).
Intuitively, it seems like the statement should be reversed. If my heart desires and loves something, then I will pursue it and invest in it. But our Lord’s way is true: my heart will be drawn to the things that I invest my treasure in, treasure being represented by my time, money, and effort.
I invested a lot of treasure in porn and sexual sin. It took a lot of time and effort to live a secret life and try to hide it. I was clever and creative in my deception—and that was my treasure. It’s...
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