How Pride Kills Christian Recovery And What To Do About It

We think that the first thing we need to do in order to stop drinking is to simply stop drinking. If we can just get our willpower together and find the right reason, the right motivation or the right plan, we’ll be set.

But this isn’t actually the first step. And it isn’t the key to lasting recovery. The secret is not finding our power; it is admitting we don’t have any.

Why We Reject Humility

Most of us resist this. We’re afraid to take that big leap. We’re afraid to admit that there’s something we really can’t do, even if all the signs in our life make it abundantly clear. That pride, that inability to raise our hands in surrender, can keep us from taking the first important step in recovery.

How Pride Kills Christian Recovery-What To Do - Christian Drug Rehab

It’s a scary thing to do. We have to truthfully look at ourselves and why we drink. We have to confess to our friends, families and churches. We face the loss of our jobs, lifestyles, images and community standings. We open ourselves up to possible judgment or scorn.

Some of us are afraid of other things, like losing the crutch that has been getting us through life. How will we handle the pain? How will we face the day and cope with a life that seems so unmanageable?

Practicing Humility And Why It’s Worth It

We learn early on in recovery that pride has no place in a life of sobriety. If we begin to think we know better or that we can do things our way, we’re sunk. Our entire lives stand as evidence that a life based on self — self-will, self-aggrandizement, “self-control” — does not work. There is only one antidote, one thing that can really help us stay sober: humility.

This is where we put our lives into God’s hands and let go. We don’t know what will happen or what our new life will look like, but we become humbly willing to find out. We begin to believe that maybe we aren’t the best leaders of our own lives and that it is time to let God be in charge.

Everything about this feels counterintuitive. We live in a society that doesn’t value humility in any sense — it values power, prestige and looking awesome and impressive at all times. Haven’t we always been encouraged to be the master of our own destinies? How do we even become humble?

We begin by seeking willingness. We can talk all we like about being humble, but if we really aren’t willing, it’s not going anywhere. You may not be willing yet, but are you willing to become willing? Many times, asking God to help us become willing goes a long way in getting us there. As much as we want to try to control the future, all we really need to focus on are the first baby steps.

Humility isn’t popular. It isn’t cool to admit your life is out of control and that you’re a full mess. But the road of recovery and the Christian life is not a path for perfect people, rich people or kings; it’s for the sick, the poor and the weak. And slowly but surely, it leads to glory.

A Model Of Humility

To know what humility is, we look to the life of Christ. Jesus was God Himself and yet didn’t exploit that status. He became a human, which is quite a bit lower than deity, and he walked among us, even dying a wrongful death. On purpose. In love.

We don’t need to focus on ourselves or how humble we are — this takes us right back into pride. The essence of humility is to think of ourselves less. We look to Christ and his example and we pray that we would grow into the likeness of him. We look to God, we seek wise counsel and we do the daily work of recovery. This is the path of humility and the path that keeps us sober.