Over the years, I’ve seen some recoveries fail. I don’t know all the reasons for this but I do know one. I know this reason because I attempted to let it make me fail.
When I walked into the room full of Celebrate Recovery folks, I knew that this program could not possibly work for me. I knew this because even though I was sitting in a stinking pile of failure, bruised and broken from hitting bottom like a ton of bricks, ready to pronounce myself unfit to continue to breathe the air, I was somehow still full of pride.
I had this crazy idea that if I couldn’t fix all my faults, restore myself to sanity, pick up my pieces and put them back together, well, God couldn’t either and I was sure not going to let him try.
But as I spent some time with those people, heard their stories and saw that God had done what they could not time and time again, my pride began to soften. Not only that, I began to see that my pride was a problem and started seeing it as a real hindrance in my life.
For so long it had bound me in invisible chains. So many of my problems that had seemed so complex and unique were due to plain old pride and when pride went, tons of other things went with it.
Only man, in this fallen state, can let pride kill him when he has lost it all.
I have to understand that pride is my enemy. It claws and fights to turn my gaze from the face of Jesus, to pull me a few degrees off my true course and tell me that if I can’t, then no one can, not even God.
I can’t. I just can’t. God didn’t create me to be able to live by my own strength.
My pride sometimes tells me to only turn to God if the situation gets really bad, let him fix things and then back to my own understanding. This bi-polar Christian experience is enough to drive any man loony.
I need God. I need him all the time, in success, in failure, in peace, in turmoil, in trouble, in calm, always.
James 4:6 And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
When I choose my own strength over God’s, I choose to oppose him. That is crazy! Why would I do such a thing? My humility brings me close to God. Close to God is where I find strength, not out on a lonely prairie trying to channel my inner John Wayne.
If I want to finish this road to recovery well, I have to daily look for pride in my life, let go of it and step away in humility toward the Almighty God, get as close to him as I can and stay there.