How Exciting! Finally a book that addresses the struggle of overcoming addictions from experiencing grace! I’m a little over 30 pages in and loving it! Much of what the church and 12 step programs offer consists of self-condemnation, rules to follow, focus on accountability, and outward change of behavior. Mike Quarles describes his experience with this kind of approach:
In recommending I attend AA, one of the pastors of the church said, “You need to do whatever it takes. Gouge our your eye. Cut off your hand.” The message came across loud and clear. The answer for me to do whatever was necessary to become something I wasn’t (righteous) and to get something I didn’t have (freedom). These are the two biggest lies Christians believe, and although those who promote them may be sincere, they are incredibly ineffective in keeping those who are addicted from experiencing the truth that would set them free.
Mike would go on later in the same chapter and say:
But when I learn and believe that I am not a failure, an addict – unloved, insecure, inferior, and guilty – but forgiven, accepted, competent, complete, righteous, and secure in Christ, I will begin to change my behavior and experience freedom.
What a fresh approach! What freedom there is in these truths! What freedom there is in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished – fully, completely, finally! The voices that fill the hearts and minds of the addicted resonate with words like “failure, unloved, incapable, unworthy, not enough, impossible, broken”. They have listened to the voices for so long, that they have become the person’s own voice and in many cases, to them, the voice of God. This only further seals the addiction and slavery.
How wonderful that in Jesus Christ we are given a fresh new voice – One that speaks with authority, clarity, and finality. He says, “You are mine. The war is over. You are no longer displeasing to me. I hold you. I have completed you. I have made you forgiven, clean, and holy. You no longer have to listen to the old voices. You no longer have to look somewhere to fill the aching longing inside for temporary pleasures.”
I can’t wait to finish the book!