I have a great love for "Recovery Ministry". It's a wonderfully powerful group of people who have amazing stories of God's grace. And if you want to find a dynamic, alive, and trusted friend, "recovery ministry" is a great pool to go fishin' in.
But I've witnessed something, that with a slight tweak, could radically impact the church. We've categorized recovery issues at the peril of us all. We see alcoholism, drug abuse, anger, sex addiction and a few others as bad enough to warrant help. Here's the problem, it can create a sense of, "those recovery, folks". This is dangerous for two reasons. 1. We begin to look down at others and think of ourselves more highly than we ought. 2. We lose the potential of everyone receiving the help we all need, and we all truly need it.
The solution is slight but holds big results. We need to embrace the realities of life in a sinful and broken world. We all have sinned, we are all broken people, and by God's grace, we are in the process of changing (sanctification) – we are all in recovery or we're not growing. Some flaws are more visible and visibly destructive. But everyone who sins this side of heaven injures themselves and others – we all need help and healing. Here's the point: We will ALL get better together when we stop trying to handle things on our own. This is good news for serial gossips, leaders who are reckless, recovering perfectionists, drive-by accusers, professional victims, and self-elevating embellishers.
I've had the joy of seeing movements of God a couple times. A chief characteristic was a humble need for God without any judgment. We were so overwhelmed by God's grace we were rather underwhelmed with ourselves. It created a momentum that was undeniably out-of-this-world. God's been etching this in my heart and it's one of my core convictions as we've launched 180 Chicago. It's simple: When the church believes that we're all in recovery, we'll have a growing ministry, because the gospel will have fresh credibility.
II Corinthians 4:7 (read and meditate on this one for a bit)
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