Christian Track – Understanding this is Progress, Not Perfection in Addiction Recovery

Contributor: Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

“Stop growing today, stop teaching tomorrow”

Howard Hendricks

“Beholding the Glory of the Lord we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another.”

-The Apostle Paul

His Name is Miles

My brother Eric and his wife, Leah, have three kids. The older two are twins (Sam and Maggie) and the younger one is a very special young man in our family. His name is Miles. Miles is a special needs kid.

He has a rare disease called “Chromosome 18 disorder” and it has changed both his life and his parent’s life forever. He struggles in certain social settings, has had to work harder and more diligently than the average kid on almost everything (learning to feed himself, tying his shoes, reading, writing, etc.).

Breaking the Limitations

The amazing part about this kid though isn’t what he CAN’T DO it’s what he CAN DO!! Michelle and I live 3 hours away from Eric, Leah and Miles and don’t get to see him often so when we do we find ourselves amazed with his growth. Sentiments of praise fly out of our mouths all day;

“Miles, you’re doing so good at reading”

“Miles, we are so impressed with how many words you have”

“Miles, you’re doing awesome with your sports”

Growth We Don’t See

Now here’s the thing…we aren’t just saying things to make him, Eric or Leah feel better. We are actually impressed with the progress. Michelle and I have found that Leah (specifically) is refreshed being around us because she forgets (due to proximity) that her son is actually changing and growing.

family barbecue - dad giving kids foodWhen you’re the central caregiver involved day-in and day-out you don’t have the perspective to see, value, and rejoice in the little shifts that compose the transformations in our lives.

Making Our Focus

It seems that it’s quite similar in our addictions. We can focus on our failures and what we’re not doing.

We can blame ourselves that we’re not as awesome as the guy at work or the “supermom” at our Church but the problem with those perspectives is that the lead to the downward spiral of shame and guilt which only make you more susceptible to the grip of your addiction.

Being Transformed

I’m so glad the Bible is practical and realistic in the process of growth. The Apostle says “as we behold the Glory of God we are being (or becoming) transformed from glory to glory.” Do you see the implications? Whatever we behold (think about, dream about) we become.

And Paul gives great allowance on the time frame too…”One degree of glory to another.” The central question in recovery is not, “When are you going to be well?” rather, it should be, “are you on a trajectory toward health?”

Celebration In The Small Steps

It’s been said that the Christian life is not a straight path to glory but rather a winding trail of perilous twists and turns. We’d be much happier and much more aligned with God if we allowed our small changes to become opportunities for celebration and praise and we delighted in the small steps of progress instead of merely measuring the distance left to go.

Last week Miles did something amazing…He ran his first 100 meters in the Special Olympics. He needed help, didn’t break any records and didn’t even really like it BUT he did it. He did it!!! I wonder what would happen for you if you had a little bit more of the spirit of Miles, a simple 6 year old with special needs who refuses to stay stuck.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Has there been anything in your life that you didn’t realize was a slow growing blessing?

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.

Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on May 15th, 2015
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