Avoiding Trouble

Recently I wrote about being better in 2014, making those self-improvement changes, growing at every level, body, soul, and spirit. I also added growing in recovery too. You see, if I don’t improve my serve, I become less effective in helping others recover. With the gift of sobriety I received from God, I received the honor of giving back that gift to others as I improve and mature in Him.

Helping/ Controlling
There is a huge difference in helping others and trying to control others. This may not be clear to me at times so I need God to remind me, which He does so painfully well. Truly, the pain is more aggravation to me because I thought I had learned that lesson, YOU CANNOT FIX THEM. Helping them, however, is making suggestions, listening intently to their issues, and giving warnings of what may be from personal experience.

I had a young man hit a bump recently, and another hit a milestone. With both, what was learned carries weight in determining their tomorrows. I have more concern for the one who reached the milestone, than the one who relapsed. The relapse is in the humble state of remorse, needing God’s forgiveness, as well as the forgiveness of others. The other is at the jump off stage, “thanks for the help God, I’ll take it from here.”

“To learn you must love discipline, it is stupid to hate correction.” Prov. 12:1
“If you search for good, you will find favor. If you search for evil, it will find you! Prov. 11:27

I laid out a plan of attack for my sponsor-ees to work with in their recovery. It is a compilation from my recovery, and from the hundreds of stories of success I heard in meetings and  through reading. One thing to avoid is fear of change. By making little changes in attitude and actions, the bigger, more difficult changes become easier. This will sound crazy to you, but read on to the explanation.

Little Changes/ Big Differences
If you shave the right side of your face, shave the left first. If you button your shirt from the bottom up, go from the top to the bottom. Change which foot you put your shoe on first. If you are at the bank or store, get in the longest line, not the shortest. Drive in the slow lane on the highway.

I’m not Crazy
Even if these seem stupid, they are dramatic and challenging for the alcoholic/addict. The way they always did things throughout their life, landed them addicted, homeless, incarcerated, etc. By making these little changes, they begin to feel like a different person, not the addict they were, the drunk who chronically relapsed. It is effective, and truly helps them move to greater challenges.

In both of these young men, and the others I work with, trouble can be avoided by working a plan, not our plan. AA, NA, CR, et al, have laid out “how it works” for all of us to attack our addictions. God, I believed, designed them. If we want to improve, the fear of relapse has to go. If we want  to improve, each milestone reached is not a stopping point, but a reaching point…reach a little further. By God’s grace and help, there is always more.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!

7 thoughts on “Avoiding Trouble

  1. Hi Keith…. good words. I relate to the help/control thing. It seems to be human nature to confuse the two. Something draws us toward control if we are not cautious. It is why power so often corrupts. We have a tough time handling our ability to influence. Ego jumps in and it can go to our heads. Or insecurity jumps in and, and we NEED them to follow our path and get results or we question our value as a leader/sponsor.

    These are the things I believe we need to mature in in our recovery if we are to be helpful as those with some experience strength and hope for the newer person.

    And I think there is a very good reason why “experience, strength, and hope”, have been encouraged in our program versus things like orders, instructions, and commandments. We as humans, especially sick ones so tempted by ego, do not have the strength to handle these kinds of powers over others. Which is why, I believe, our program is shared by suggestions. The big book itself refers to the steps as a Suggested program of recovery.

    Almost universally, where humans are given power, we eventually mess it up when ego steps in.

    Thank God AA discovered this was a slippery slope and limited opportunities for power and prestige in our program. We serve, we don’t control or rule. We are responsible for the message, not the mess.



    • Right on Chaz. It is suggestions, we’re not drill instructors in the military. Ten percent make it in AA, and people seem okay with that. It’s not okay! That means ninety percent are back out there or even lost to the ages. Perhaps one may be good with the military style but his offspring aren’t.
      I feel it is an honor when someone asks me to sponsor them. I can only give what I have to them, no place for my ego. Advise, suggest, and love them into God’s kingdom, Thanks dear brother!

  2. My friend, awesome words. God knows our hearts and when we fall down He is there to pick us up. All you have to do is keep your eye on the one who can do all things but fail. We all need help and a little encouragement at times, and when you are giving from your heart, the Lord’s blessings are upon you. He has purposed you in this season and this time to be a godly leader and serve as His servant.
    so my friend, be encourage, stay strong, keep your eye on the prize and God will do the rest.

    • Thanks dear friend. I really appreciate the encouragement. I have been stretched to the limit of late and hardly found the time to follow blogs or blog myself. That’s discouraging but given me the opportunity to self-search as to what is pleasing to the Lord. At times I wonder if the time posting is better spent, or if they are of value. I’m sure you have the same thoughts.
      Thanks for your comments and your wonderful blogs. …especially the Sunday worship post. God bless your every endeavor.

  3. My dear friend, all that is important in this life is your walk with the Lord. God has purposed you for a high commission in this life, how you use your time to do God’s will, will determine your future in the kingdom building process. For God has blessed you with special talents to be used in a very special way. It is up to you to determine how and where those talents all: to fit into God’s purpose for you. Yes of course I used to have some of those same thoughts when I first began doing his will. But over the course of time God showed me that the work that I do was not for me to determine who was to benefit from it. He said to me, my Servant, pick up your cross and follow me and I will take you in the direction that I would have you to go. There are lost souls out there that need to hear and read my words, the words that I placed in your heart and on your lips to speak truth to power. Of course there are many who will not listen to what you have to say, they will reject your words just like they rejected me. But that’s unimportant because I send the Holy Spirit into the world to convict the lost souls to,come to me. Your job is to keep doing what I have commanded you to do. So by brother, I say to you, be strong and be courageous do the work of the Lord and allow him to use you anyway and anywhere he can. When you fall down he will be there to pick you up, when you stumble he will pick you up, and if need be he will carry you to your destination. You have come this far by faith leaning and depending on the Lord Jesus Christ and it is your faith that will see you through to the end. Never give up never give in, you are a winner and winners never quit and quitters never win. Be blessed my brother live this day in the Lord’s piece. May his grace and mercy be with you now and for all eternity.

    • Thank you Pastor! Thank you for the much needed encouragement and for being sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit! I had notions of stopping the posts, and giving more time to other things. I feel I hit a real low point this week. But I asked God, “are you finished with my writing?” Just asking Him left a darkness, similar to the darkness I have felt when I lived outside of His grace. I came across something I had written down in a notepad that asked, “what do I do, or not do that separates me from God’s grace?”…the answer I wrote down was “there is nothing I can do, He never stops the flow of grace toward me, toward us.” Then your comments came through my email. I felt like weeping for joy from your comforting words. God is with you dear brother! Thank you again for the direction those words turned me toward…it’s all about Jesus!

  4. You are welcome my friend. It is truly all about Jesus, and He always has a ram in the bush waiting to meet our needs and serve His purpose. He answers our prayers and sends people into our presents as He sees the needs. We are obedient He will always bless us with great abundance. He says that His grace is sufficient for us. When we are weak He is made strong in our present. Just stay focus and keep your eye on the one who can do all things but fail. It is not about us, but about the Lord and the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. Never give up, and never give in, you have the victory in Christ Jesus My Brother. Be Encourage, for God has a blessing with your name on it. See you in our Sunday Morning Service.

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