Learning from AA
When I read:
I do not believe that such groups as Alcoholics Anonymous are perfect any more than anything human is perfect, but I believe what goes on in them is far closer to what Christ meant his church to be, and what it originally was, than much of what goes on in most churches I know. ~ Frederick Buechner
I said AMEN!
In many meetings, I have felt more in touch with Christ than in formal worship. Maybe it’s because many AA’s have come to believe our lives depend on the program, going to meetings and on our Higher Power.
Now, AA meetings can’t replace the gift of corporate worship. They shouldn’t anyway.
What Christ Meant the Church to Be, IMHO
Sunday worship is where Christ’s church is a meeting for all kinds of sick folk – not just drunks and addicts. It’s a place where recovering idolaters can get help and hope: where we can turn from our golden calves to worship God; where we can gain strength to keep our backs turned on those habits, emotions and actions that hurt us and offend God. God in us teaches us to say no to them. (Titus 2:12)
So, when Life throws us a curve and slams us into places we do not want to go, our idols can look as good to Christians as a drink looks to a drunk.
When that happens in recovery, what happens to an AA?
We ask ourselves to think a drink through: Is the pain worth a drink? For many of us maintaining our sobriety in the midst of pain throws us right back to the core belief – I can’t overcome (fill in the blank); God can, so I will ask Him. We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You!
Letting go of the pain and letting God work means taking our hands off what’s bugging us. AA suggests taking care of our own business –not other folks’ or God’s. Sometimes that might involve making peace – with ourselves, our past and other people. No grudge is worth getting loaded over.
Here’s where the church can help hurting hearts: teaching that Christ misses nothing, and will repay. We never have to drink at anybody again, ever.
The Church is a Hospital, Right?
Accepting broken people with all their sharp edges is hard work and painful: The church is a hospital for the sick and injured – and nobody in the church has their life together so perfectly they can patch other people together. But we have the word of God and prayer and Christ. Frederick Buechner’s observation might just help us to act like our lives depended on Him, Christ; His word, the Scriptures, and the gift He enables through prayer.
God Bless you dear reader — here’s [again] a prayer from Dr. Tony Evans: A Pastor’s Prayers for Addicts.
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful