How to Make Me Relapse
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:18
As far as I know, there’s no one out there who wants to see me relapse. If there were though, what weapons would they use to get to me? I can tell you that the most obvious threat to my sobriety isn’t someone walking up to me on the street and offering me pills. That would be too obvious of a threat to my recovery, and I’d simply walk away. No, the way attack would have to be far more subtle. It would have to start with little distractions that turn me, almost imperceptibly, from my recovery walk.
If my recovery means daily abandoning me to follow God, the way to get me off that path would be to get me to turn ever so slightly each day, so that I didn’t recognize the change. It wouldn’t start with drugs. It would maybe start with unhealthy food. As I surrendered to my self-destructive appetite in one little area, following me would perhaps proceed to lust, pornography, inappropriate conversations and relationships, greed, anger, and selfishness. Then, when I’ve turned enough from God’s path to my own, I’d be ripe for a relapse into drugs.
In today’s passage, Paul warned of the enemies of the cross of Christ. When I think of Christ’s enemies, I think of those who obviously hate him. Those who are most threatening to our faith though won’t be overt Satanists. We’re not likely to be moved or tempted by something so ridiculous. Rather, Paul defined the enemies of our faith simply as those who follow their own nature – encouraging us to do likewise.
Following the cross, just like my recovery, means abandoning ourselves to follow God’s plan. To turn us from that, all one must do is to get us, not to renounce our faith, but to simply turn to pursuing ourselves. Seen in this light, the greatest threat to our faith could be sitting near us in church. Our enemies may not even realize they’re enemies, but anyone who encourages us to follow our way, instead of God’s, is antagonistic to our faith.
Daily, we must beware of those who would lead us from the straight and narrow path of life, back to the path of our own way. Daily, we must make sure we’re not encouraging someone else to do the same. We can call ourselves Christians while still living only for own appetites. Following the cross though, means turning from our way to God’s. Anyone who distracts from that path is acting as an enemy of faith and recovery.