What is that thing or those things that disturb your heart, maybe cause you to overreact, possibly trigger a relapse or even worse? The other day a man shot three people in a restaurant/bar over someone accidentally spilling a drink on him. Really?
The 12 & 12 of A.A. speaks about how our natural instincts have far exceeded their proper functions and have dominated our lives in addiction. Think about it, every decision virtually is made out of impatience, wrong thinking and bad attitude. Resentments, anger, loneliness, depression, anxiety, they all pile up within us to cause an IT, and it simmers like a sweltering volcano until it blows up sooner or later.
Proverbs 4 speaks of guarding our heart, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth, keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or left; keep your foot from evil.
Only by flushing out the stream of abuse, betrayal, resentment, hurt, grief and other baggage items we carry can living water flow from our hearts. Bad life, usually bad talk. Bad relationships, complaining and gossip. But when you hear good news, such as Jesus telling us he will give us living water that leaves us without thirst, then we realize that our hearts can heal and thus what becomes our actions and our words changes dramatically.
Our IT's become our QUITS, as in we quit doing this or that, quit manipulating others, quit complaining about others, and started speaking life instead of death and destruction. We grow up, we show up as difference makers instead of defiance makers. Our whole attitude and outlook on life changes.
We don't swerve to the left or right just because we have an urge, instead we stay focused on doing right more than wrong. I say "more than" because we are all still capable of making a bad decision regardless of our maturity or time of sobriety. But if we come to the Lord, we quickly turn away and get back on that level path by his amazing grace.
His steps, the Steps, they all keep us from taking that step toward evil.
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.