Recovery and the New Life
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
I wrote a few days ago about how, when I’m down, I still remember the destructive, instant gratification to which I used to turn to feel better. When in discomfort, it’s only natural to have some memory of going back to those things. I can’t simply forget, so the thoughts just naturally pop up. In the days since that blog, a few people, including my wife, have expressed concern. Do I need to worry about you? Honestly, I’m already a little worried. That too is natural – to be concerned when an addict talks about stress and returning to the old comforts.
Perhaps I should have said it better, but I truly wasn’t in any danger of relapsing. Yes, the thought popped into my head, but because of where I’m at in my recovery, I immediately dismissed it as not an option. I can remember a time when I would have struggled and white-knuckled it, or perhaps even given in. Now, though I knew it was technically an option, I didn’t even consider actually going back.
In my addiction, I couldn’t stop using. Now, though I know it’s possible, I truly can’t imagine returning to my addiction. My desire for my marriage, my career, and most of all, my new life in Christ, is stronger than my hunger for drugs. This radical change in appetite – desiring what is truly good for me instead of what is destructive for me – is the miraculous transformation that God has wrought in my life. I don’t live perfectly now, but today, I don’t want to go back. Do I still remember the old life? Yes, of course. Today however, I want recovery and the new life I’ve found in Christ.
This is the profound change Paul spoke of in today’s passage. In it, he describes the spiritual transformation that occurs when we come to faith in Christ. He said that by faith, the old life is buried as Christ was. As he was raised from the dead, so too are we, so that we may no longer live enslaved to the old life. This is the miracle that we’re offered in Christ and it is the blessed message of hope we have for those who are sick of living in the misery of their self-destructive ways.