In the latter 1980s, I can remember attending two conferences at the Crystal Cathedral where they were training leaders to start recovery groups. That was about 30 years ago.
It's been exciting to watch churches embrace the recovery movement. I still remember finding the first national Christian 12-step organization, Overcomers Outreach. Later, many other churches, large and small, all over America started various types of recovery meetings. Today, Celebrate Recovery has made this movement more vogue and palatable to the mainstream church.
Christians today are seeing the wisdom of the recovery community. These groups were birthed in the 1930s with much prayer. At that time, no church would embrace them. Today, this child of the church has come back home with wisdom, grace and the tools to help anyone and everyone willing to do the work to heal from whatever addiction plagues them.
You can be free! The Lord Jesus died and rose from the dead so everyone can be free. As you do the work I detail here, you will see recovery and restoration in your life that can be amazing. In my decades of work in personal recovery, seeing men and women get free and stay free from their addictions and the consequences of living with an addict, I know you too can have a life of recovery.
I remember being enrolled in Bible college and crying out to God, fasting, praying and begging to be set free, only to fall again and repeat the same plea week after week, month after month for all four years.
I had been radically saved. I was learning about God and the Bible. I was part of a vibrant, passionate church that had great worship, where people got saved every week. I sang in the choir. I did evangelism. Nevertheless, my secret addiction held me in chains.
What's wrong with this picture? If you're an addict of any kind, you know exactly what I mean.
I'll never forget it. After spending some time in recovery, I began working in a psychiatric hospital in the addiction unit. I was a seminary student at the time. Part of my job was to take alcohol and drug addicts to their addiction classes and 12-step meetings. I spent years in smoke-filled rooms with people sober from alcohol and drugs, but not nicotine or coffee! Early on in that job, I decided to sit in on the addiction class. I threw my book bag down next to my chair. The counselor began facilitating a discussion on recovery with the patients, but I soon found myself attracted more to what was on the wall than the conversation the counselor was leading.
I found myself reading the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I thought back to the long road of healing that Jesus had personally taken me through to get free from my addiction. I probably looked distracted to the counselor because I was distracted. As I read through the steps I was able to clearly see how Jesus took me through each point of the steps and brought healing to my life.
This is not unusual with the way Jesus works within my life. Often, he asks me to obey him and then later exposes the Scripture or principle he had me follow. He is the author of our own freedom. He has given us all that we need to be free. We just need to know what these truths and principles are so we can go from struggling to recovery.
I want to share some powerful truths with you about who you are. You are a son or daughter of the Most High God. You are precious, wise, resourceful and capable. You have a divine mission to break these curses off your life and clean up the damage from your past choices. God has chosen you to take the journey to recovery. Millions of people are saved, yet still addicted to many things, including relationships. Of all the people in pain who are crying out to God for help and freedom, God chose to give you the opportunity for recovery.
Recovery for Everyone is an opportunity. You decide what you do with this opportunity. You can push it away, do just a little to get out of a current crisis, or you can be consistent, do the work, become free, stay free for a lifetime and be a part of seeing others get free and stay free as well.
Through Christ, God has already decided you are worthy of total freedom from every addiction. For me, that meant alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, caffeine and sugar. I know recovery, so I know that if you are ready, God wants you to be free! I just thought you should know that Father God thinks you're awesome and is very proud of you for taking this journey we call recovery.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Recovery for Everyone You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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