"Just be yourself," is a phrase we hear regularly when we are nervous about an interview, or a date, or speaking before a group of people, etc. That advice is good and may be terrible. What I mean by that is, if you are going before a group of people to speak but you are extremely shy, you may want to be a different person throughout your speech. If you are taking a person on a date for the first time, you may want to talk about them much more than about yourself. If you are sitting in front of an interviewer and having questions fired at you, you need to answer confidently and concisely, not fumble around on your answers. I do mean to lie about anything, or be phony. In certain situations, we need to step outside of the way we are, and adopt a certain boldness, or be devoured by fear.
Warning, Danger Ahead!
Empowerment is a popular term. Everyone looks to be empowered by others positive reinforcement, or past reminders of personal successes we have had. In my time in recovery from alcoholism and drug use, I have noticed how that when the recovering addict or alcoholic become clean and sober, they get this feeling of empowerment feeling it is unnecessary to continue working on their recovery, and cease going to meetings, cease praying and improving themselves. This "comfort zone" is the "danger zone" for each person that this is true about.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also in the interest of others." Phil.2:3-4 NIV
How do recovering addicts, alcoholics, porn addicts, gamblers, overeaters, etc, enter the danger zone by no longer attending meetings like AA, Celebrate Recovery, NA, and the like? It is the thought process in the individuals mind, the thought that I haven't thought of doping or drinking in years, or I don't think pornographic any longer, that puts that person in the area of pride, and pride is a personal invitation to the evil one.
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful you don't fall!" 1Cor.10:12
That is just how I am.
I thought at one time that once I was sober, I would replace recovery meetings with church. I would put all of my efforts into doing the "work of God." Afterall, these meetings are full of people that curse, hate religion, and especially dislike Jesus. My sponsor warned me that those were bad ideas. He was right. I watched several try that and as far as I know, they are still out there drinking. Church does not replace recovery meetings, and recovery meetings does not, could never, replace church. Well, I am not into drunk-meetings, I am not going to do anything but go to church. Okay, that's your choice. You have realized that you are special, not like others. Is that it?
Giving it back.
Keep this in mind, where did you come from? How did you get sober? Who delivered you from filthy thoughts every waking hour? If you do not know, it was God that got you to the recovery meeting, and it wasn't just for you. He wants you and I to give ourselves to others, to move away from being you, and become Jesus to those suffering, or struggling to stay sober. You need recovery meetings because others need you. You really need to attend church if you are a follower of Christ, and fellowship with the family. This is a balance we all must get to, or continue the struggle.
Do you think there is another way?
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!