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.

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