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Posts Tagged ‘Recovery Program’


Refer to STEP 10: I believed that God still has a purpose for my life—a purpose for good and not evil.

I remember when I was much younger. As a new Christian, we would scour the beaches of Southern California witnessing for Christ, sharing the 4 Spiritual Laws with all who would listen. Later, when we returned to Campus Crusade headquarters in Arrowhead Springs, kids would share their experiences publicly and privately. Routinely, kids would say, “I led three people to Christ,” or “I introduced a guy who was really searching to Christ today.”

The perception was that the person who was doing the witnessing was responsible for the person being saved, and many were very boastful about it. For me, the whole process was difficult because I didn’t like to intrude on people sunbathing, promoting Christ to them during their recreational time, especially when I was uninvited. But what has stuck with me the most from that time is this: all I could do was tell the story.

I had nothing to do with “saving” the person—not a thing. To believe otherwise is ludicrous, nonsensical, and unscriptural. I don’t have the power to “save” anyone; nobody does. Furthermore, my attempts at promoting Christ seem to have been counterproductive.

As an alternative approach, over the years I’ve thought about Christ drawing people to Himself, if He is lifted up. Lifting Him up is my responsibility—not badgering people. There’s a big difference. It’s the same with heping people recover from religious abuse.

I have a responsibility to help others, if that’s what they want. If they don’t, all of my efforts to help them will be futile, falling on deaf ears. When it’s their time—and not before—I need to be available for them. That’s the way it is for all of us, regardless of the type of recovery program we’re working. Promotion doesn’t work; attraction does. So if you want to help someone—really help them—work at your own recovery. If your life manifests love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness, then there will always be an abundance of people in need of your help.

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Refer to STEP 3: I accept that the responsibility for getting back on track is mine and no one else’s.

Before Alcoholics Anonymous or any other type of recovery group existed, when someone troubled by the problem of alcohol would meet someone else with the same issue, their camaraderie would focus on drinking together—on the problem and not on the solution. As such, their fellowship would revolve around dissipation and not abstinence. When AA came along and alcoholics began to choose sobriety, they started to assemble together to help each other with their mutual problem. They did this because fellow alcoholics can understand one another better than other people. It’s the reason why people go to meetings and call their sponsors.

Currently, if a person who has been wounded by religious abuse meets another person who has also been wounded, they can share their pain, their sorrow, their anger, and their destructive experience. But that’s all. They can’t share their stories of recovery or their need to support one another positively. Their conversations invariably focus on “what happened” to them.

That’s why working the “11 Steps to Recovery From Religious Abuse” is so important. Without it, the only camaraderie available is on the negative side of the ledger—not the positive.

Once someone has worked through the 11 Steps and has set their goals high once again, then there is no limit to the number of people that person can help. Additionally, by helping someone else get their life back on track with the 11 Steps, the positive impact upon the person who has already worked the Steps will be substantial. Nothing compares to helping another find his or her way back to a trusting relationship with God—nothing.

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