Some practical actions I can take to immerse myself in healthy thinking
There is no easy pathway to victory in the war against my addiction. Having spent years acting on my unhealthy behaviors, I have established strong patterns of behavior and thought, and these patterns do not go away easily. In my experience, it takes years to establish new patterns. Immersion in the truth is the most effective means to establish truth in my life. Here are some of the actions that I have found make immersion possible in any recovery environment.
I encourage every man or woman in recovery to daily call others who are capable of holding them accountable. Phone calls invite others to interrupt my unhealthy thinking and encourage what is healthy.
In general, a phone call is speaking directly with a fellow recovery group member to share my day, focusing on the struggles or difficulties faced, then receiving feedback. It is not a Text Message or Voicemail. I should make phone calls even if I have nothing to share. Building a discipline for accountability is just as valuable, if not more so, as the practice of calling when things are difficult. In fact, if I will not call men when things are good, I likely will not call when things are bad.
“And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”
Scripture is the God-breathed external confirmation of internal truth: it is stable even when I am not. As I wrestle against old patterns of thought and behavior, I must have something stable to replace them with. That stability is found in the Word of God. The more I am saturated with Scripture, the better.
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
Prayer is the primary means for me to build relationship with God. Relationship with God is the ultimate goal of our lives: to love God with everything we have. As such, it also the only means to true change, as God is the only one who can transform my innermost being (heart). So, it is essential that I pray often.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
“Pray without ceasing”
Frankly, I should not expect God to bless that which I refuse to pray for. In fact, real recovery is a gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ by the transformation of my innermost thoughts and desires to His will. It is a process of learning what true submission to God is, and that means I need to develop a discipline of talking to Him.
If you do not know how to pray, start by praying Scripture. As you regularly read and see clearly who and what God desires, pray for those things.
Reading recovery books is like receiving indirect feedback from someone much more studied than myself. There are lots of great books out there; but, if you are just starting, I recommend reading something like Pure Desire by Ted Roberts or False Intimacy by Harry Schaumburg. Share your insights in phone calls and meetings. Let others know what you are learning.
There is something special about meeting face-to-face, so I strongly encourage doing it as often as possible. Being around healthy people has a healthy effect on me, just as being around unhealthy people affects me negatively. As such, attend as many addiction support group meetings as possible. The more feedback the group meetings incorporate, the better. But a sharing-only meeting is better than no meeting at all.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
These are just a few basic, but practical methods to achieve immersion. If you want more information, have questions or want to meet, please don’t hesitate to contact us.