“Principle 2: Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.”
“Hope” is the gospel principle assigned to Step 2 in the ARP manual, A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing. Hope for what? What do those working Step 2 of the 12 Steps hope for? We hope that as we have admitted our powerlessness to beat our addictions by sheer willpower in Step 1, Christ will, in fact, heal us personally. The question is not, “Will Christ help those who repent turn their lives around?” Nor is it, “Can people recover through the grace of Jesus Christ?” No, the question is, “Will Christ heal poor, rebellious, sinful, broken me? Me personally? Not all those other people out there, but will he actually heal me?”
You see, by the time we get to the 12 Steps, most of us have tried every other way we know to fix ourselves and we have failed. Our greatest fear is that the 12 Steps won’t work either, and we will, in fact, turn out to be permanently and hopelessly broken; too broken for even Christ to fix.
Boyd K. Packer shared this in October 1995 General Conference: “The gospel teaches us that relief from torment and guilt can be earned through repentance… there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness.” (Emphasis added.) Steps 4-10 are the repentance process. President Packer’s words tell me that when I have worked those steps with a sincere heart, to the best of my ability, I can receive forgiveness. Knowing this, and believing that these words cover all of my sins, I can dare to have hope that I can be healed.
If all the willpower in the world has been unable to fix me, then how am I going to make it through the repentance process?
“Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Alma 37:33 emphasis added).
Understanding Grace Gives Us Hope
In the Bible Dictionary, grace is defined as “divine means of help or strength” given through the “bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ” (“Grace,” 697). This gift of divine strength enables you to do more than you would be able to do if left on your own. The Savior will do for you what you cannot do for yourself. His grace is the means by which you can repent and be changed. (A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing, p. 9)
No one is more broken than Christ can fix. Thinking that I am so powerful and wonderful that my ability to be messed up is greater than Christ’s ability to fix is arrogant and prideful. It is a lie; a lie planted in my brain and carefully nurtured by Satan. By working Step 2 I receive hope that through grace the Lord will help me overcome what I cannot overcome by myself.
- Do you believe that Christ can and will fix your brokenness, personally?
- If you do believe it, what are you willing to do today to prepare yourself to receive that gift?
- If you don’t believe it, what are you willing to do today to let go of the lie that tells you that you are either beyond Christ’s ability to fix, or that He has rejected you.
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