Failure to Understand the Story

The Big Books of AA and NA have examples as to what happens and causes so many that fail to recover. In recovery meetings, we say they didn’t “get it” when someone relapses. Celebrate Recovery offers explanations as to why the failure, being based on a “Christ-centered” recovery from various types of addictions. If you are taking the time to read this post, you may be a victim of relapse, or know of a loved friend or family member that has been.

I’ll attempt to get to the point. Everyone has this issue. You may not be a drinker, use drugs, be a gambler or hooked on porn…thank God. But you have flaws, vice, or sins that you deal with.

An example being someone who worries. This individual constantly fears what may happen. Because of worry, the nag at their spouse and children because they don’t comply to their repeated advice. They become angry over anything that goes against what they think is right, i.e. the government’s stance on various social issues. Or, they may be paralyzed by fears, ending up in deep depression.

This type of individual needs recovery too. The problem is that few people see worry, nagging, or anger as sinful. They feel above the addicts because they don’t smoke, or chew, or run with those who do. Hint: they need as much help as any alcoholic…they’re hooked.

Jesus taught using parables, or stories. People love to listen to stories. A good orator knows to keep the attention of a crowd, tell a story. One of Jesus’ parables was given with what seemed to be no final result or moral. In Mark 4, he tells of the farmer scattering seed for crop.

Some of the seed fell on the wayside and was eaten by birds. Some fell on rocky soil, sprouted, but the sun burned it up. Some fell among the thorns, which choked the seed, killing it. But some of the seed landed in a fertile loam that grew and yielded many times, perhaps making up for all of the failed crop. The end.

Jesus left the story there, and later, told the disciples the parable’s meaning. The Word is the seed. The scripture may reveal a message of recovery from any addiction, whether substances or emotions. His words explain, in my estimation, why so many fail in recovery, in business, in their faith, and in life. And why some succeed almost effortlessly.

The birds that ate the seed was the adversary and his imps. His aim is confusion and distraction. He is successful through many means, knowing human weaknesses, desires, and sloth. He capitalizes with fears like shame and loss of friends. He loves to complicate the simplicity of recovery by making “doing right” for wimps, totally uncool.

The seed burned up by the sun is those who accept the Word with joy, but the moment any sort of persecution, or trouble arises, they move on or back to their old life.

The seed choked out by the thorns is those that hear the message, but the cares of life, the deception of fame or wealth and living the life of the glamorous is their desired choice.

The one who hears the message, accepts it, and surrenders to do what it takes to find real life, is where the seed fell into the soil and took a strong yielding root. The Word thrived in these individuals and not only fed them, leading them to a life of joy and freedom, but also yielding so much crop, potentially feeding masses.

The teaching Jesus brought in this open-ended parable gives the religious a lot of ammunition to condemn those hearing but non-conforming. My suggestion to the religious is to unload your weapon. That goes as well for those who judge others in recovery as they hold court on the relapser. Stop and think. 

The message Jesus taught is true, the listener has heard, the seed is sown. We do not know where the seed falls in every person. Think and pray for God’s best. Expect that wayward Christian to return, the fallen addict, alcoholic, or any addicted to anything to give up and return broken, ready to comply. When they do, show how deeply the seed landed in you…accept, love, and help them.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!

One thought on “Failure to Understand the Story

  1. I went to G.A for over three years Keith and as I look back I’m saddened to know that many will as you said not get it! including me but they can’t get what is not there in the secular lead groups which are the majority.

    God tells us not to say we will sin, (see below) because this reinforces it, we are what we think in our heart and our actions will follow, all groups reinforce the Addiction and a lot other humanistic and dangerous principles and what is offered as answers is a bandaid and the focus is pumping up the flesh, and so many live in fear of relapse and rejection, not freedom from their Addiction.

    Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

    A.A was where all the other groups originated from and it did have a Christian foundation but along came Bill and wanted to make it more people friendly and so he changed Jesus to a god as you know him or a higher power which has it’s own reality depending on the focus of those who conjure up their god.

    Emotions are not sin they are God given but He tells us not to worry and looking back now to how He has intervened in my life, I am assured that we don’t need to, He will always be there for us especially in the Storms that come into our lives.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    But God does not condemn us for worrying or being frightened, they are not sin, they are emotions we need to respond to and resolve, like anger is or we can become sick both Physically and Mentally but yes as you said Keith they can also lead to sin, anger can lead to bitterness and resentment which are sin but God reassures us that we can Trust Him to work everything out for good in our lives because we Love and obey Him.

    Being Happy Clappy and wearing a mask does not resolve our problems it increases them, Jesus tells us when we are weighed down with worry and life’s problems, we are to come to Him, not pretend they don’t exist, He was known as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and He cried.

    Matthew 11:28 -30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne.

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