It can be said that the Bible is the book of recovery, recovery of the human race. In today’s topic we’re going to look at one way Jesus discussed salvation, the goal of God’s plan of recovery for each human, and what we call recovery in our modern language. Jesus spoke these words:
Matt 7:13-14 – Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Most observers use this scripture to discuss or emphasize that the choice a person makes in becoming a saved person is a narrow choice, which it is. Contextually though, this scripture is in the middle of a section of the Sermon on the Mount that discusses how to live. Therefore the better application is when we think of His words with the perspective that life is travelled on a path. Here the salvation application is that of sanctification, the ongoing salvation work of God in our lives.
One way of looking at this picture of the paths is that we can work through our everyday existence God’s way, which leads to eternal life, or do it our way which leads to destruction, or eternal death. It is the same story with recovery. We can work the proven program or we can go our own way, dealing with the problems under our own power, and go back to acting out.
In every 12 Step program that we know, the same basic promise is found in different words. For example in the blue book of Narcotics Anonymous it says:
- We do not have to understand this program for it to work. All we have to do is follow directions. (p91, sixth edition)
This is the same promise found in scripture. Success, salvation, recovery, whatever way we choose to describe it is found in following directions.
Here are some comparisons that can be made between God’s way and recovery:
- A life focused on personal pleasure leads to destruction, acting out leads there too.
- Following God’s recovery program leads to eternal life, a recovery program leads to a healthy life.
- Communicating with God is part of His program, seeking God is part of every successful recovery program.
- God says we are powerless to save ourselves, recovery programs say that too.
- God says we have to admit our faults, so do all successful recovery programs.
- God says to make amends, so do we.
- The Bible says to be still and know God, recovery programs say to meditate and seek conscious contact with God.
These are just a few examples of a comparison of ultimate recovery and earthbound recovery. Share with us what you think on this subject.