As I reflect on 10+ years of working closely with people in pastoral ministry (men, women, students, children) who have come through all sorts of addictions (and many who unfortunately, who have not) I find a common thread in those who have succeeded in recovery and those who have relapsed.
People want to know; “What’s the secret to success? How do I ensure that I moving toward a place of breaking the chains and cycles of addiction?” People are hungry for recipes and foolproof plans but what I am about to tell you is neither a recipe or a “Secret formula”. When I look at the many stories of victory or defeat it has always boiled down to one core heart disposition; “Did the individual seeking recovery have a heart posture of humility?”
Pride is the deadly foe that internally battles what is best for your own flourishing and without seeking to kill the pride in your life you unknowingly set yourself up for your pride to kill you. The famous puritan pastor, John Owen, put it this way; “You better be killing pride or pride will be killing you”. But be warned, pride doesn’t just manifest itself in arrogance and self-aggrandizement.
The Many Faces of Pride
Pride has many sneaky faces. Here are a few I have seen:
#1- Pride as self-dependence: In this manifestation of pride it is veiled as “hard-working” or even “virtuous”. The rules of the game are simple in this form of pride; DEPEND ON NO ONE (especially God) for help.
#2- Pride as self- loathing: One of pride’s ugliest faces is that of self-abasement. The person of pride in this situation is marked by self-hate, self-pity and other “self-sins” that draw attention to one’s deficiencies. A self-loathing person is simply a prideful, inflated person that has been popped.
#3- Pride as self-sufficiency: When you’re living in pride you see help, counseling, discipleship and genuine love from others as threatening. Rather than being grateful for other’s investment into your life you will have to acknowledge your core terror that you actually need others.
A Better Way to Fight Addiction?
We learn in Scripture from the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 a better way to engage life and the difficulty around you and the ugliness in you. Paul puts it this way:
“8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Wouldn’t you like to be that kind of person too? Someone who isn’t afraid of your weaknesses and brokenness but rather someone who gladly admits; “I need help” to receive the mercy available to you?
You’re simply one “bending of the knee” away to the first step of your healing….admitting your brokenness.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What can you draw from weaknesses to build in your addiction recovery this coming year?
About the Author:
Ryan Moffat 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
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.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 19, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com