“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.”
Without a doubt, everything we need to live by is given to us in the pages of our bibles. Yes, I’ll agree that it doesn’t cover every single scenario, but it does give us tools that we can use to address any problem. Wouldn’t you agree?
Probably one of the most effective tools in the recovery of alcoholism is Alcoholics Anonymous. Now, I have written my peace about this before. Suffice it to say that my problem with this organization is their unwillingness to declare Jesus as Lord and therefore point people AWAY from the only saving faith there is. Sobriety trumps salvation.
Having said that, we cannot argue with their results. Is there something that Christians can learn from them? Perhaps so. One thing is that they meet regularly. Each group meets weekly. If you so desire, you can find a meeting somewhere any night of the week. To those of you unfamiliar with any of this, weekly meetings may seem a lot. It is, until you begin to understand the benefit of it. An old-timer (someone who has been sober a long time) once told me that in his first days he asked how long he needs to go to meetings. An old-timer back then told him, “Until you want to go.”
What did he mean by that? He pointed out that it is simply a matter of perspective. The new guy was looking at meetings as if they were a burden. The old guy was looking at them as a benefit. The old guy had a desire to go. The new guy didn’t but eventually did and told that story to me.
So, regular meetings are crucial to a healthy mind, and sometimes we need meetings more often than weekly. Some people go to two meetings regularly. Some more. There was a time that I went to meetings every day. One day, when things were really rough, I went to three meetings. Three in one day!
Another thing off the top of my head is the fact that their focus is zeroed in on alcohol. They don’t get distracted by any other issue. Experienced members gently, yet firmly if necessary, steer the conversation back to the main thing – sobriety. That doesn’t mean that nothing else is talked about. However, it does mean that topics need to have something to do with sobriety.
Let’s take the guy who is struggling with sobriety. He also consumes himself with current political events to the point that he risks his sobriety. Can he talk about politics? Only to the point that he understands that he is powerless to do anything about it and that worrying and complaining will only jeopardize his sobriety.
Two things. Regularly scheduled meetings with a focused agenda. We don’t have anything like this in church. Yes, we may have some churches that offer recovery-type of ministry, but we don’t see this to any degree like we do A.A. You can travel to an unknown city and find an A.A. meeting almost anywhere in the world. From personal experience, this is very powerful.
I’ve often wondered how A.A. can pull this off and perplexed why the church doesn’t. I’m going to be honest, there are times I struggle when it would be nice to talk to people who speak the same language I do. By that, I mean people who have the same problem – besetting sin – as I have.
Maybe it wouldn’t even have to be a common sin. If Christians met regularly, like A.A., we could organize it so that the meeting stays focused on recovery of any sin. After all, sin, by its very definition is addictive. It’s all the same. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is a real need, whether we realize it or not, for people to have a safe place to be vulnerable. The Beatitudes comes to mind for me.
Food for thought, and reason to pray.
Father, A.A. has something that the church is lacking. I’m asking. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers