The Power of Spiritual Recovery
As addicts, we understand the importance of making a full recovery. We recognize we are not God and that we are not in control of our addictions. Our step programs have taught us that we have to become new in order to have a successful, long term recovery. However, complete renewal is not possible without spiritual recovery as well. It is only with a new spirit, a restoration of faith, that we truly become new.
Understanding Spiritual Recovery
Spiritual recovery is as simple as it sounds; it is the renewal of your spirit in the same way you renew your mind and your body. Spiritual recovery is personal. It is not about going to church or any other religious organization to study the holy word. Certainly, there is a connection between receiving messages about God’s grace or learning about Him and increasing your own spirituality but simply going to church will not do that. True spiritual recovery occurs when we move from being self-centered about our loves to being God-centered. When we become less focused on ourselves, it becomes easier to focus on God and His plan for our lives.
Walking a Spiritual Path
Similar to any other type of recovery, spiritual renewal is a daily, on-going process. You begin by understanding who you are as a child of God and choosing to accept His role as the Father and Creator in your life. Once this occurs, you are able to move from feelings of desperation, selfishness, loneliness, and pride to peace, a sense of belonging, fulfillment, and love. Of course, these emotions will continue to shift, but regular prayer time with God will strengthen these spiritual feelings so they become the norm over time.
When you move away from the selfishness and pride of focusing on yourself and towards being centered on God, you will find you are on a spiritual path to renewal. You spend more time learning from God and thinking of how He would want you to live rather than doing things that may just feel good to you.
Living a Life of Spiritual Recovery
As addicts, we do not just abuse the drug of our choice; we have abused the people around us as well. The more time we spend on a spiritual path, the more we recognize exactly what type of damage our choices may have caused those we love. Once our spirits are living in recovery though, we look instead to see how we can positively affect their lives now. We want to give instead of take and support them. We learn to look at the world through God’s eyes, letting Him direct how we interact with others.
Tools for Spiritual Recovery
Because spiritual recovery can only occur as an ongoing process, we must commit ourselves to fulfill that task and become the people God wants us to be. In order to do this, we must rely on the tools God has given us to live healthy spiritual lives.
- Pray without ceasing. Contrary to many misconceptions, this does not mean you have to spend all day in prayer with God. It simply means you make the commitment to have an open line of communication with God. You recognize that you cannot do everything by yourself and you will seek His wisdom when you are faced with difficult moments.
- Study His Word. The Word of God is the best tool you have in living a life of spiritual recovery. It can truly light the path you regularly travel and it is through His word you will learn to live as a Child of God.
- Surround Yourself with Believers. In order to grow spiritually, you need to be around other believers. They will ground you and offer you support as you move down the path of spiritual living. Just as you receive guidance from others in an addiction support group, individuals who know where you have been and what you are struggling with, you receive the same from a group of believers. They can keep you plugged into the Word and keep you focused on the things God believes are important.
Without spiritual recovery, we live with a God-shaped hole in our lives. It is only as we seek Him and set our spirits on a path to renewal and recovery that we can begin to fill that hole. As that hole is filled by God, we begin to heal as well allowing our overall recovery to strengthen and be successful.