In my early 20s, God began to unveil lies I believed about myself-mostly tying my performance to my worth. Once I saw them (and thank God that I did) I quickly went to work trying to overcome those lies. Over time, He has helped loosen the hold they had over me.
No sooner had I started to see growth, I started to claim that I “used to” struggle with performance. You know, in the past, when I didn’t know any better. But now-ta da! All better.
But these days, I hesitate. Because even though God continues to untangle me from those lies, I am humbled by how easily I crane my neck to listen to their voices. How easily I find myself dipping my toes in their invitations to me.
So I don’t like to say that “I used to” struggle with those things anymore.
Instead, I think of myself as a recovering alcoholic in those places. I’m learning to use the language of recovery. “Hi, I’m Gina, and I’m addicted to performance.” (“Hi Gina.”)
Have I experienced freedom in these things? Absolutely. Do they hold me the way they once did? Not at all. But that is not because of my power but His. They are a constant reminder of how I will, on my own, try to save myself.
If I can be blunt, to say, “I used to struggle with that” stems from pride, not humility. It is the language of self-sufficiency, not recovery.
The minute we say, “I don’t do that anymore” we close ourselves to God’s Spirit revealing greater depths of our idolatry, and we cut ourselves off from needing Him to help us in those areas.
The things we struggle with the most will always be our, “there but for the grace of God go I” temptations. The first step is admitting we have a problem.
Living Like We’re in Recovery
And, like addicts, we must remind ourselves that we are powerless on our own to overcome our tendencies. It is only God who can restore. We must take a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves, acknowledging our addictions and admitting them to God.
It’s not a journey any of us can take on our own. As much as it would be nice to hide in the shadows while we sober up, we are called to do this in community. We can only go so far on our own. As we confess our addictions to others, we find we are not alone. We gather strength and courage for the journey.
Being in recovery means staying in a position of dependence, acknowledging our weakness, leaning on the strength of others. It means accepting that we may always walk with a limp in some areas of our lives.
So what is your addiction, if I might be so bold as to ask? How does it still hold you? As we bring these to Jesus, we invite Him to continue to do the deep and necessary work in us to make us whole.
We’re all in recovery.