LESSON 4 – SANITY
Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.
Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
For it is God who is works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
We spent our first month on Principle 1. We finally were able to face our denial and admit that we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong thing and that our lives had become unmanageable—out of control!
Now what? How and where do we get the control? The answer is to take the second step on our journey of recovery.
The second step tells us that we have come to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. YOU MAY BE SAYING,,,,,“Wait a minute!” you’re saying. “I spent an entire month hearing that to begin my recovery I had to face and admit my denial. Now you’re telling me that I must be crazy? That I need to be restored to sanity?
No, Step 2 isn’t saying that you’re crazy. Let’s examine the word “sanity”
As a result of admitting our powerlessness in Principle 1, we can move from chaos to hope in Principle 2. We talked about that in our last teaching session. Hope comes when we believe that a power greater than ourselves, our Higher Power, Jesus Christ, can and will restore us! Jesus can provide that power where we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors. He alone can restore order and meaning to our lives. He alone can restore us to sanity.
Insanity has been defined by those in the recovery rooms as:
doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time.
This is getting stagnant isn’t it, are you sick of hearing it yet?
Sanity has been defined as:
wholeness of mind; making decisions based on the truth.
Jesus is the only Higher Power who offers the truth, the power, the way, and the life. Instead one could say: “The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting/hoping for different results,” – What are some examples?
Sometimes these ‘things” are habits we can’t break… well most of the time…
Try to make a list of unhealthy behaviors you think you may be repeating over and over. And even go so far as to list beside each one a healthy behavior we may be able to replace it with – And let’s get a plan in place – then practice.
We cant keep doing what we have always done………. we will only keep getting what we have always gotten…
Let’s get into the acrostic:
S IS FOR STRENGTH
When we accept Jesus as our Higher Power, we receive strength to face the fears that, in the past, have caused us to fight, flee, or freeze. Now we can say:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.
My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; he is all I ever need.
Relying on our own power, our own strength is what got us here in the first-place right? Train yourself to trust the Lord
We believed we didn’t need God’s help, strength, or power. It’s almost like we were disconnected from our true power source—God!
Choosing to allow my life to finally run on God’s power—not my own limited power, weakness, helplessness, or sense of inferiority—has turned out to be my greatest strength. God came in where my helplessness began. And He will do the same for all of us!
A IS FOR ACCEPTANCE
Romans 15:7 says:
Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you.
When we take Step 2, we learn to have realistic expectations of ourselves and others. We learn not to relate to others in the same old way, expecting a different response or result than they have given us time and time again. We begin to find the sanity (Order and meaning) we have been searching for. We remember to pray and ask God “to give us the courage to change the things we can and to accept the things we cannot change.”
As our faith grows and we get to know our Higher Power better, it becomes easier for us to accept others as they really are, not as we would have them be!
With acceptance, comes responsibility. We stop placing all the blame on others for our past actions and/or hurts.
N IS FOR NEW LIFE
In the pit of our hurts, habits, and hang-ups, we were at our very bottom. We know the feelings expressed in 2 Corinthians 1:8–9:
We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God.
The verse goes on to say:
God … alone could save us … and we expect him to do it again and again.
The penalty for our sins was paid in full by Jesus on the cross.
The hope of a new life is freedom from our bondage!
When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand-new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
Satan tries to trip us up though, we are FINALLY getting up, getting on our feet, things are looking up and then – BAM! HE STICKS HIS FOOT OUT AND TRIPS US. Boom, we fall on our face…
I IS FOR INTEGRITY
We gain integrity as we begin to follow through on our promises. Others start trusting what we say. The apostle John placed great value on integrity:
Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are following the way of truth.
3 JOHN 4
Remember, a half-truth is a whole lie, and a lie is the result of weakness and fear. Truth fears nothing—nothing but concealment!
The truth often hurts. But it’s the lie that leaves the scars.
A man or woman of integrity and courage is not afraid to tell the truth.
And that courage comes from a power greater than ourselves—Jesus Christ, the way, the TRUTH, and the life.
T IS FOR TRUST
As we work Step 2, we begin to trust in our relationships with others and our Higher Power.
It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.
As we “let go and let God” and admit that our lives are unmanageable – We begin to trust relationships with others and our Higher Power, Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Y IS FOR YOUR HIGHER POWER
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
No matter what comes your way, together you and God can handle it!
And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:13
Praise be to the LORD, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Higher Power and Savior, we are not only guaranteed eternal life, but we also have God’s protection in time of trials. Nahum 1:7 says:
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him..
Recovery is a daily program, and we need a power greater than ourselves—a Higher Power who will provide us with the strength, acceptance, new life, integrity, and trust to allow us to make sane decisions based on His truth!
And if you complete the next principle, Principle 3, your future will be blessed and secure! Matthew 6:34 says:
So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.