Monday, December 28, 2015

Christian Recovery -- The Truth about Denial

If you have continued abusing drugs and alcohol over long periods of time, you have either thought about quitting, tried to quit, or quit but then quickly started back up. The reason is clear. Drugs and alcohol have a hold on you. And even though your addiction gets in the way of your success and relationships, you have grown accustomed to living with the consequences. You have settled in to your desperate lifestyle and don’t believe that you can live life without getting high. Actually, you don’t want to live without having an altered state of mind. You love getting high more than you love anything else. Your substance of choice has become your idol. It’s what you think about, what you obsess about and what you won’t let go of.

That’s why you justify your addictive behaviors and try to convince yourself and everyone else that your problem isn’t as bad as people say. But let me say this: If people are talking about your problem, there’s a problem. And if people are worried about you and praying for you, there’s a problem. Your denial can’t change that reality, although your denial is what you use to give yourself permission to be self-centered and hard hearted toward others.

Denial is your refusal to accept the truth. That’s my simple definition. But the Urban Dictionary expands on this. Here’s what it says about denial. “While people in denial generally still have the seed of truth still buried within their heads, they generally cannot believe that it is the truth even when confronted with it. This is due to the mind in effect rewriting or superimposing a more acceptable reality over the original memory.”

Denial is your way to cope with things that you can’t or won’t face. It's not acceptable to be an addict or a raging alcoholic, so you make up your own story. The reality is still within you, but you choose not to deal with it. Instead, you have created your own version of the truth and try to convince the world to see things your way. You minimize your addiction and shift blame all over the place, often making yourself a victim. The more distorted your reality becomes, the higher the level of your denial rises.

As denial rises, so do your addictive behaviors. And, as your addiction spins out of control, the deeper you must go into denial. It’s a never-ending cycle that takes you to your bottom.

So denial protects you from the  hard truth. But knowing the truth is what sets you free, according to John 8:32.  Yes, I know you’ve heard it all before. You know all the verses about freedom and transformation. You say God’s word can’t help you now, but what you don’t understand is that your denial keeps you far from the only One who can rescue you.

If you are ready to get your life and relationships back, repent of your denial, ask God to help and begin a conversation with your loved ones. Right now, I want you to find that seed of truth that your denial keeps hidden. Look for it and you will find it.

I wrote “Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery” to help you remember your truth, and to help you out of denial and into the process of freedom from addictions. I suggest you read it, personalize it and then live it out.  Meanwhile, you can visit our website for more information about our Christian recovery program and ministry.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to Stay Sober during Holidays

Christian Recovery

Staying sober during the holidays is not only possible, it’s easier than the devil wants you to believe. In fact, Satan is a master at helping Christians think he is stronger and more powerful than the blood of Jesus. But nothing is stronger than that! ALL the power is in the blood!

Yes, it’s a struggle. There’s no denying that there is a spiritual battle going on and we have to fight. Yes, there are temptations that force us to resist some things we crave. But no, you are not powerless. You are not too weak. You are not a victim of your addiction. 
With God, you have the victory, as described in 1 John 4:4 – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
There are numerous other Scriptures that talk about our ability as Christians to resist temptation, to maintain our sobriety, to win the fight, to be courageous, to counteract the enemy and to have victory over our addictions and other issues of life. And while the spiritual battle is best fought using the Word of God and applying Christian principles. It’s also important to take some practical steps to stay sober during the holidays. 
The following are the Top 5 strategies for Staying Sober during the Christmas season:
1.       Do not put yourself in tempting situations. For example, if alcohol is your issue, do not attend parties where you know there will be excessive drinking. It’s okay to tell your friends and family that you are not able to attend because you are fighting the battle of addiction. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to tell your truth.

2.       Create new traditions that replace the spirit of addictions with the spirit of the Christmas season. For example, invite sober friends over for Hot Apple Cider or Hot Chocolate, or establish a weekly holiday game night. You CAN have fun without drugs or alcohol!

3.       Serve your city. Find out what charities in your area are doing for the homeless and poor during the holidays, then partner with them. You can help feed the hungry, work at food pantries or find other ways to help. The goal is to keep your mind off of yourself and to focus your energy on others.

4.       Read the Bible every day throughout the month of December, and ask God to speak to you through His Word.

5.       Keep a record of your new holiday experience. Write down all the positive things that happen in the season of Christmas.
No one ever said that staying clean and sober was easy. But God has made it clear that HE has given Christians the power to get set free once and for all.  And more than that, to live a better way and to enjoy the new life that was given to us when Jesus died and bled for our sobriety.
If you need more reading material for Christian recovery, you can find my book “Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathwayto Radical Recovery “ on Amazon. You can also visit our website or follow The Solid Rock Road on Facebook.