When working with addicts/alcoholics, you should always remember the importance of help you are giving. For one, is it effective? Am I sugar coating so I don't offend? or am I being too harsh, they're beaten bad enough? For each success, there are failures. I have often felt as though it were my fault when someone I work with has a relapse...and their death if they do not survive. I do really know better. Nonetheless, it still leaves you wondering. It is my responsibility to give them what I've been given. I am responsible to stick my hand out in fellowship, to instruct them to follow the steps to sobriety, to show them gratitude in action by serving wherever possible.
I have seen many successfully complete the 12 steps, then relapse. None of us have a guaranteed sobriety. Prayer, serving, and meetings are the glue that holds sobriey's steps together. Those steps cannot be altered or ignored. You can either work the 12 steps, or your addiction will work you over, until you're finished. Know this, it is up to the individual to accept do what is necessary to stay clean and sober.
When I came into the AA fellowship, I wanted to do my program. I soon realized that I needed to work the program the right way. I got a sponsor and began to work the program. The sponsor didn't call me, he didn't make sure I was doing ok, he didn't shove me through the steps, no, that was my job. I asked him to sponsor me. It was my duty to call him, to ask his help working the steps, to ask for advice and help when I needed it. The same goes for help from God. If you ask Him for nothing, that's what you get from Him. It is our responsibility to ask for help in life, from God, from parents or family members, from mentors, and pastors. Silent pride is fear, fear of rejection.
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven
give what is good to those who ask Him?" Matt.7:11 (NAS)
I am responsible for my prayers to God. I am to pray asking for help, for my needs, for direction, without thinking God is too busy for me. I'm responsible to know that, not thinking that He may feel really sorry for me and eventually get around to my request. Where is that "Bible verse, the Lord helps them who helps themselves?"
It's NOT IN THE BIBLE! I'm responsible for knowing that too. Twinkle, twinkle little star is not a prayer. A stitch in time saves nine is not in Proverbs. I'm reponsible to know these things.
When the pastor gives the sermon, it's for the hearer to live the message out. When the high school gives me my diploma, it's up to me to take that education and use it to make a living, or further my education. When the mentor gives the follower every bit of knowedge, it's up to the follower to apply and develop that knowledge further. We must see our responsibility in everything. If we do not, the government will be glad to be responsible for you...at a high price, your soul. They will fill your soul with their belief system...I mean unbelief system, that will teach you to rely on uncle Sam for help with addiction, child rearing, religious education, religious de-programming, medicine, etc, etc. Just ask China, N. Korea, or any socialist nation, they know government control.
Ok, I could really go with a thousand directions with this topic. I still struggle with responsibility. Today I understand the importance of being responsible, and passing that understanding to my children, or those I help in recovery. Give this some thought, see if you are responsible, and if you are passing it forward.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith