“A Christ-centered approach to recovery and coordinating small group meetings”

Step One 

 “We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies – that our lives had become unmanageable.” 

It seems that the first step is the hardest and that everything that we are pushes against us admitting that we have a problem. Every bit of our human pride and ego works against us crying out for help.  We have been programmed from early on to think, “I can handle it.” 

Step one brings us to the point where we have to admit that we can’t handle it.  It says that we are in trouble and that we need help.  The idea of powerlessness means that we don’t have the power to heal ourselves or fix the problem in our own strength. This step forces us to admit that we have done a poor job in managing our own lives.  It also suggests that there is not much hope to expect that things are going to improve if we continue to operate the same way we have. 

The end of denial is the beginning of recovery.  We have to get to the point where we admit that life is not working for us any more.  Maybe our lives never did work for us at all. Nevertheless, we have to quit deceiving and lying to ourselves that things are OK when everything in our lives continues to crumble. 

Addictive people have a tendency to highly rationalize life’s circumstances even when there is an abundance of evidence that there is a “major problem in Paradise.”  We tend to be stubborn people and hold out to the very end.  Most of us admit to the reality of our circumstances, only when we hit bottom and have no choice in the matter. 

Some people have “high bottoms” and their thinking process works enough to understand what is happening before they “crash and burn.”  There are some who don’t have to experience long periods of excruciating pain before they get to the point where they are willing to deal with their problems.  Whatever it takes to come to the “end of self!” 

A good Biblical example of hitting bottom and admitting powerlessness is found in the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11?31.   This is the story where the rebellious son demanded his share of the family money and he left home to be able to manage his own life and do whatever he wanted.  The son went to a far away city and spent his money on wild living. 

This kid obviously had an addictive personality and what we call a “life controlling problem.”  He blew all his wealth on riotous living and ended up broken and feeding someone’s pigs.  The pigs were better off than he was because he longed to eat the food they had. 

We can’t miss the point here that when he was living under control of the father, he was living in comfort as a wealthy son. The result of self?management was disaster.  “When he came to his senses, he said `How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare and here I am starving!” (Luke 15:17)  He got up and went to his father where he was loved, forgiven and restored. Step one can be summed up in a few words “I have a problem and I need help!” 

As we progress in our recovery, our lives will generally improve. There will probably be some specific areas that don’t improve and become increasingly unmanageable as time goes on.  The areas we have the hardest time admitting having a problem, are usually those areas we thought were our greatest assets.  It’s the time to specifically apply step one when we discover a specific problem and submit the matter to the recovery process.