Those Who Would Steal Our Recovery
A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Matthew 13:3-4
Though recovery is fantastic for the one living in it, not everyone appreciates this sentiment. There are those in the world who would, whether out of malice or ignorance, threaten the recovering addict’s sobriety.
Sometimes it’s a friendly neighbor who just doesn’t know our story: Want a beer? Sometimes it’s a well-meaning but naive physician: You’re going to need something for pain. Trust me, this is medicine. Other times, it’s an old friend: Hey, let’s just have a drink like old times. We’re still friends, right? Then, there are those who are maybe just looking to drag us down: I’ve got this bottle of pills. I know that’s your thing. You can have them.
Not all those who would lead us astray are intentionally wicked. In today’s passage though, Jesus insists that there is an evil one in the world who will use whatever and whomever it can to destroy us. In the parable, Jesus tells of a sower, planting his seeds. Jesus went on to explain that he is the sower, planting his message in our lives, and described four possible outcomes. In the first scenario, the seed is planted in someone’s life, but the evil one snatches it away form him. This recipient of Christ’s message wants faith and recovery, but he quickly succumbs to temptation, going straight back to the old life.
The problem is, temptation rarely looks like evil when we first see it. Our friends and neighbors aren’t trying to be malicious and they aren’t wearing horns or carrying a pitchfork. When they tempt us to return to the old life though, they’re being used by evil and even though they don’t realize it, they’re threatening our recovery and probably our lives.
Recovery is not automatic. It takes hard work and diligence to protect it. There is evil in the world and it desires to devour us, returning us to active addiction. We must consider faith and recovery to be like oxygen and water. We cannot live without them and we must do whatever it takes to pursue them. We don’t want to be rude, and others likely won’t understand, but we must abandon anyone who would threaten our faith and recovery.