Contributor: Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
What do you when the trip of a decade gets dropped in your laps? I mean the airfare to Maui, the hotel in Maui, even a cash donation to help cover some of the expenses.
I suppose you could over-analyze it, “Are these airplane vouchers real?” OR “These hotel confirmation looks authentic but how can I be sure beyond a shadow out of doubt?”
Or maybe another reaction would be to self-punish and self-condemn, “I don’t deserve this, I haven’t earned this and how would people think of me if they knew I didn’t accomplish this all by myself? I will look weak and unsuccessful if I take this gift.”
I’ll be honest- I had both reactions when this gift fell into our laps. Several friends from our Church blessed us in amazing ways. A couple gave us their timeshare for a week, another couple gave us their airline miles to get there, and one more couple gave us cash so the vacation “wouldn’t be a burden.”
Part of me felt bad, guilty, and even pathetic. Party of me felt gratitude, humility and joy. Which part of me should I have been listening to: the guilt and shame or the joy and humility?
In fact as I step back from this current example it begs the bigger question of life in general. When we are gifted with grace we don’t deserve, presents and blessings we don’t deserve and forgiveness we don’t deserve what is the dominating response we have: disbelief, guilt, doubt, or self-induced pity?
The Grace of God
I think the only appropriate response to God’s involvement in our brokenness, pain, addiction and hopelessness should be joy, gratitude, commitment, and a passion to change.
When we’ve been given what we don’t deserve the Bible calls this “grace” and it teaches us that the response to such love is awe, wonder, gratitude…any other response completely misses the wonderful gifts of grace.
We’re left with only two options; #1- The way of independence, autonomy and self-justification to prove to God, others and ourselves that we don’t need help OR #2- Humbling accepting the favor we don’t deserve (grace) and let God, through Jesus Christ, absorb the punishment, isolation and hell I do deserve (mercy).
I don’t think any of us will ever break through our destructive behaviors, our addictions, or our terrible misuse of relationships if we refuse to simply say “yes” to the grace of God in our lives.
So….I am leaving in 1 month, 10 days, and 4 hours for Maui. I’m accepting the gift I cannot afford, don’t deserve, and didn’t earn. Michelle and I have simply decided to say “YES” to reach out to God and more importantly, let Him reach out to us.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
How have your thoughts on God’s grace impacted your addiction recovery?
About the author:
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addiction. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
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Published on AddictionHope.com