My Selfish Recovery
Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me. 2 Kings 2:9
When I first attempted sobriety, I was terrified of discovery and in the name of pride, I remained unwilling to share my story. My recovery didn’t last very long and soon I was back in active addiction.
In inpatient treatment, I met counselors who, themselves recovering addicts, lived out step 12 of AA which speaks of carrying the message to other addicts. Those counselors lived in such a way that I desperately wanted what they had.
I would love to say that I now go to jail and recovery meetings out of some noble expression of my faith, but the truth is, sharing my recovery is a little selfish as I have discovered what those counselors knew: We keep what we have by giving it away. If I want to continue in recovery, I must live in recovery, which means that I must share it with others. This is not optional.
Today’s passage tells us that before the prophet Elijah left this world, his protégé, Elisha requested that the same spirit that filled his mentor be passed on to him. Elijah lived in such a way that Elisha desperately wanted what he had.
This principle is true of both our faith and our recovery. If we truly follow God, we will live in such a way that some (certainly not all) of those around us will want what we have. Our lives as Christians, must bear witness of what God has done for us.
Are we allowing Christ to transform us? Do we live in such a way that others will see God as the answer to their struggles? When is the last time we shared our faith or recovery with anyone?
If we find that we are not being transformed by Christ, if we have no story to tell, and if we are unwilling to share our life with others, then we must ask what kind of faith or recovery we actually have. This is not optional. We keep what we have only by giving it away.