By Donna Yearsin, National Director Celebration Place
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)
One of the most beautiful things about recovery involves introspection. Focus questions posed during Open Share Groups cause participants to stop and think about their own thoughts, feelings, and actions– an honest assessment of what is happening on the inside and bleeding over to the outside. At times the questions ask about the positive changes in life, and other times the questions probe deep within the hearts and lives of those in the group.
In my last group, the focus question was, “What are some of the things you keep doing that you really don’t want to do?”. My thoughts went immediately to the writings of Paul in Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do.” Success in recovery (and in our Christian walk) starts with addressing the struggle. I don’t have to understand the why—I just have to admit and own that my actions do not line up with what I want to do. As verse 16 says, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” The good news is God does not want us to carry out the good He created us to do on our own. He meets us in the struggle, covers us with His grace, and gives wisdom for the battle. He leads us to victory over the sinful nature within us.
My answer to the question was I still seek the approval of others for things that I do. Even after 13 years in recovery, I still want to hear someone say, “Great job!” It is crazy! When I don’t get that pat on the back, I question myself, which leads to worry. To set the record straight: the need for approval is not anywhere near where it was initially, but it is still a struggle. God is leading me to seek His face, and then I will have His approval in all areas of my life. My sponsor and my husband offer encouragement to seek God in this area of my recovery. I want to encourage you to seek God first, too.
Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” As David said, God can and will deliver His children from the bonds of fear…every fear that holds us back. Freedom is ours when we admit the struggle, look to God for strength to do what we can’t on our own, and embrace His wisdom and grace to overcome.
So, what are some of the things you keep doing that you really don’t want to do? But, more importantly, what are you going to do about it?
If you would like to learn how to start your own Celebrate Recovery ministry, to contact your Celebrate Recovery Rep, please visit: https://crgroups.info/. To get involved in an already existing Celebrate Recovery ministry near you, please visit: https://locator.crgroups.info/.