Monday, January 31, 2011

Understanding Authority in Christian Recovery

The more you study the Word of God and the more you pray, the more you’ll realize how much you don’t know and how much you need strength, instruction, and inspiration from God and others.

Many Christians who struggle with addictions also struggle with the concept of authority. However, those given authority to speak into your life have moral compasses that direct them toward scripture and spiritual responses, thoughts, and answers. God gives them advice and warnings meant specifically for you.

Hebrews 13:17 makes this point: “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (NIV)

You would experience radical recovery if you listened and followed detailed advice from those offering wise counsel and spiritual truth. Every time you reject good Christian advice, you miss out on godly opportunities for complete deliverance.

Over the years, we’ve asked a lot of people who relapse why they didn’t do what they were told to do. The following are the five universal answers we’ve heard:

· “I’m tired of being told what to do.”

· “My pastor (or leader) doesn’t know everything.”

· “No one understands my unique problems.”

· “The advice didn’t seem right to me.”

· “They are not God.”

No one likes being told what to do, especially if it goes against instinct and logic. But there isn’t a single scripture that includes the phrase: “If you think it’s right,” or “If you feel like it.”

There are spiritual implications when you resist or reject counsel from those in authority over you. First Thessalonians 4:7-8 provides insight: “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”

If a righteous man or woman is teaching you how to live a holy life and everything they teach is backed by scripture, you should listen and follow their instructions (obey). When you reject their counsel, the scripture says you’re rejecting God.

In The Solid Rock Road Christian recovery program in Medford, Oregon, we work with individuals and groups to understand the concept of accountability, authority, surrender and obedience. You can find us at, on Twitter at and Facebook.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why Should I Forgive?

Some people will receive leniency while on the earth, but no one escapes the final judgment because God decides the ultimate fate of every person. His final review will send a person to the fiery pit of hell or to the gold-paved streets of heaven. There’s nowhere in between.

Most of us are relieved when murderers and molesters are caught and put behind bars. We also get a lot of satisfaction knowing that criminals such as these are hell bound. But don’t forget, the worst of the worst have the opportunity to get saved and repent. If they do it with an honest heart and continue to live in compliance with God’s ways, these same criminals will go to heaven.

This type of godly forgiveness can be hard to accept, especially when you or a loved one have been a victim of a serious crime or have been deeply wounded by others. And yet, in 2 Peter 3:9, we see that God offers amnesty for everyone: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Why Forgive?
It’s impossible to be ruthless and righteous at the same time. Therefore, to be right with God, we must take the high road of forgiveness. It’s not always easy, but it’s always necessary.

Christians are entitled to feel and express initial feelings of anger, hurt and resentment, but then we have to respond according to Scripture – or we suffer a serious fate: Here’s what the book of Matthew has to say on the subject: For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15). 

The following are a few key points to remember when working to forgive people:

  • Forgiveness is for ourselves and God, not necessarily for the offender.
  • We have to keep moving forward and forgiveness paves the way.
  • We cannot act as vigilantes.
  • Vengeance is God’s, not ours.
  • Our past should only influence our future in the most positive ways.
  • When we forgive, we break soul ties to that person and are free to enjoy life.
  • God says that forgiveness is our spiritual duty.
  • If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us.
  • Unforgiveness keeps us bound up in resentment, anger, bitterness, guilt, and shame.
  • Unforgiveness blocks our relationship with God and hinders our blessings.
  • Forgiveness sets us free.
In The Solid Rock Road recovery program in Medford, Oregon, we teach that forgiveness is a process. We believe that it’s such an important subject, we wrote an entire chapter titled "Forgive Yourself and Others" in our recovery book,, “Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery.” You can check it out at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.