I definitely needed the Voices of Recovery entry today!  It spoke of how our character defects have all, at some point served a purpose in our lives (See 12&12 of OA, page 57) but then described how their opposites, once God perfects them, will serve me better.  “…I am equipped with a new set of survival skills – stronger, braver, and more adventurous than the old ones.  God will never leave me empty.  By His grace, I shall always survive.”  This has been on my mind, because the usefulness of some of my defects was related to the job function into which I have recently returned.  Part of me wondered how I would perform these old tasks now that certain defects had been removed – or might the defects resurface?  This reminds me that I don’t need to degenerate into defectiveness to do my job, but instead will be given a new, more peaceful way to minister, serving God and man, and keeping sane and abstinent.

 

Most of Proverbs Chapter 7 is another desperate warning against the adulteress, and that following her is quite literally a dead end (v. 27).  Verse 2 speaks to me of making the wisdom of God my utmost joy, “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.”

 

1 Samuel Chapters 1 and 2 introduce a priest named Eli and his wicked sons, and a man with two wives.  His favored wife, Hannah, was barren but quietly devoted herself to prayer about it, even offering any son she would have to God’s service.  The result of her prayers was a boy named Samuel, whom she delivered to Eli the priest to be raised as a servant in the house of the Lord.  (She would later have other children as an added blessing.)  Hannah’s prayer of gratitude mirrors my own since I began walking this road of recovery, “My heart rejoices in the LORD… my mouth boasts over my enemies*, for I delight in your deliverance.”  (*For me, the term “enemies” refers to my defects and the spiritual forces at work against me.  See Ephesians 6:12.)  The rest of this story is that Eli’s wicked sons offended God so that He declared that He would raise up a faithful priest.  Guess who that will be!

 

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.  The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us.  They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for the alcoholic (compulsive overeater) these things are poison.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 66)

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