In defining the 12 Step process this phrase is used as "we will learn to deal with life on life's terms". Sounds very simple, but to those addicted folks who are continuing to ignore reality, it is something that is to be learned with painful lessons.
For so many of us, we evaded reality whenever it interrupted our feeling good, or we hid behind a bottle or a pill whenever things were too scary. We had a similar mindset to the Peter Pan theory, we never grew up, we never went through the ups and downs of life without medicating. And that medication came in many forms of addictive behaviors, preventing us from experiencing maturity through growth of doing life on its terms.
Therefore, when you see totally erratic behavior from someone who has still not admitted their problem, or see one who relapses act in complete opposite of how they were the week before, what you are seeing is truly a child in maturity acting like a child. As Jesus often used phrases about children (come to me like little children), he was summoning us to worship and love God as our ultimate parent, our father.
But in the world of addiction, we come like little children (often making no sense) to worship and love a different god with names like Budweiser, rock cocaine, crystal meth, pornography, M & M's and on and on......
When you see repeat offenders, you see children who never listen, even after experiencing harsh circumstances because they have never learned how to deal with life on life's terms. They live in a man made fantasy land in their own mind. I know, I visited there for quite awhile. Maybe we watched too much Mickey Mouse Club and thought Fantasyland was the only place we would ever live, or in many cases maybe we lived there just to survive the world around us.
However, if we let this 12 Step process take hold of us, along with letting our faith in the Lord grow, we come to read some valuable words from 1 Corinthians 14:20:
Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regards to evil, be infants, but in your thinking, be adults.
But as in virtually all cases of addiction, we need more than one admonition, so here's another one to think on:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
That was from 1 Corinthians 13:11, and if we take it to where we are at today in plain language, it is saying learn to deal with life on life's terms by experiencing, feeling and growing into being an adult, and quit acting like a child. Plain and simple, grow up!
Truth, I still like to sing that Mickey Mouse jingle, but now that I am sober, I can remember the words.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.