Attraction Rather Than Promotion

Attraction Rather Than Promotion

August 9, 2004 was the beginning and with every beginning there is an end. It was the end of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was the beginning of learning how to live without alcohol. I crawled through the door of my local 12 Step program. At the end of every meeting I was told to keep coming back, no more no less, just keep coming back.

Then….it happened! Someone said the word “GOD” and my heart dropped to my feet. “Oh no, not Him!”. I didn’t want to have anything to do with Him. He was the one that let me be abused, scared, lonely and surrounded with hypocrites! Hypocrites that put on their Sunday best and went to church to be “forgiven” so they could start all over again! NO WAY, NUH UH, this was NOT the place for me if they are telling me I have to turn my life over to His care! I was told, “First things first, just keep coming back.”

Years passed and my sobriety, health, and thinking all began to develop and eaglemature. “It’s not all about me” became my mantra and my heart was opened. I began to feel a thirst, a desire and need for more. God began speaking to me in small whispers. He whispered into my heart all of his promises, his love and his redemption. The “Big Book” in my 12 step program kept pointing the way to God. Thus, began my journey into Christianity. I would have never darkened the doors of another church if it had not been for the love, patience, guidance and wisdom in my 12 Step Program.

Sometimes Christians don’t always understand the value of 12 step programs and how they can be the catalyst for helping people find Jesus. With that being said, I feel the need to share with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ some statements that are sometimes made that could actually hinder our Christian witness to others who are struggling in the midst of addiction. 

* “You only need Jesus”- a majority of alcoholics come from a background where a significant amount of work needs to be done before they are even willing to talk to Jesus; but they will talk to another recovering alcoholic.

* “The Bible has all the answers and is the only book you need“- if others are anything like me I had no idea how to even comprehend the Bible let alone use it as a daily tool for living.

* “Quit identifying yourself as an alcoholic, you are a child of God“- it is of the utmost importance that we remember where we came from, in addition to it dismissing what is THE most painful experience of our lives and is to be used for our testimony to help others.

* “God would have healed you if you had asked“- Spiritual maturity is showing me that there is much more work involved than just asking. God does not help those who do not help themselves.

* “You don’t need those meetings now that you have been saved“- Yes we do! How do you reach others if you don’t go where they are?

I have been blessed with a loving 12 Step family as well as a wonderful church family. My 12 step program believes we should be an attraction rather than a promotion to the program. I believe that is what Jesus is requiring of us Christians as well, to BE the light. Embrace, support, love, and try to understand. If we do that, those struggling will return to Christ and the faith that was sown in us before we were ever born.

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