So far in this 5-part series on the Benefits of Recovery I have shared that:
These benefits are great news to the addict who is drowning in self-loathing and despair. And there are still two more benefits to share!
Recovery Benefit #4:
Recovery leads to freedom and joy.
I have never met an addict who hasn't immediately answered 'Yes' when asked the question, "Do you want to be free?" All addicts know they are in prison (even if they won't verbally admit it, they know it in their soul). But not all are ready to be free. Not all are broken and weary enough to give up their way for a different way. This is why patience is so important when trying to help someone break free from an addiction. Freedom only comes to those desperate enough to die for it.
Jesus once said regarding life in His kingdom, "Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it." (Luke 17:33) Some addicts keep clinging to their life of addiction, all the while losing it more and more. But when an addict chooses to give up control, to submit their life and future to their Creator, they finally discover the life of their dreams.
Freedom is a beautiful thing; to no longer be controlled by impulses and temptations and false ideas of happiness. This freedom, however, is not found in recovery, but rather along the way. You see, freedom isn't a place, it is a Person, Jesus Christ, and the freedom He offers is more than simply cleaned up behaviors and properly firing synapses. Jesus offers freedom for eternity. He said, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
The freedom that God offers leads to joy, something an addict has rarely known. Addiction and joy do not mix. But recovery can lead to freedom, and freedom brings joy. I believe that the goal of recovery is to lead an addict to a place of true love and joyful community. This is the way God made us to live, and recovery is a pathway for addicts to discover this.
In my next post we will look at the final Benefit of Recovery: Recovery leads to purpose and service. Let's finish strong!
by Russell Willingham
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