Every so often we hear someone say in a meeting, “I don’t feel like things are happening for me. I think I just need to work the steps harder.” The question to this statement is, how do we work the steps harder? The first step is about surrendering and admitting powerlessness. In the first step, all we have to do is admit that we are powerless. There’s no way to work Step 1 harder. We admit our powerlessness, or we don’t admit it. There are no levels of admitting. And the second step is like the first step. We realize that we can be restored to sanity. Can we be restored to sanity any more than what God is already doing in our lives?
The problem is we get stuck in a worldly, performance-based mentality. The world’s view is one of striving harder to get better results. While there is a need for us to do some “heavy lifting” in recovery, Christ-centered recovery is about getting away from performance-based thinking. The performance-based mentality is believing that we can make ourselves happy and get what we need through our own power. We believe the lie that we can’t get our needs met if we have to rely on anything outside of ourselves.
Recovery is learning how to let go of our self-reliance in order to glorify God through service to Him and others. Recovery is not based on our performance. We don’t serve God and others because we think we are going to get something out of it. We are motivated solely by our love for Christ and others. We don’t work the 12 steps and do what is needed in recovery for us to feel good. If our motives are to make ourselves feel good, then we are doing the same thing we’ve always done, using an external factor to change the way we feel toward ourselves. Recovery is learning to rest in Christ. In recovery, we learn that what we do does not identify who we are. Christ’s love for us is not based on our performance. We strive for progress rather than perfection.
Written by Jackell