A Support Group of One

Accountability is a good thing, let me get that out of the way right off the bat. Being surrounded by godly men who have a genuine desire to see you mature as a Christian is vital for new believers as well as those who are bouncing back from some serious sin in their lives.

But it is in the types of support groups the secular world – and some churches offer—that have a tendency to label those who are struggling with one form of addiction or another as someone who will always be afflicted by it. And that is just not biblical.

When these support groups open, most beginning conversations are in the form of, “Hi, my name is Joe, and I’m a sex addict”, or “Hi my name is Joe and I am an alcoholic”. Regardless of how long one has been clean from his addiction, he still addresses the group this way. It perpetuates the belief that one will always be such and that past sins are still reflective of his current state. Members are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings for the rest of their lives and in some instances, encouraged to attend multiple meetings per week if the situation calls for it. He soon learns that the only way he can escape his addiction is by faithful attendance at these meetings.

Again, the Bible teaches something completely different.

Somewhere, belief has been given that through mutual struggle week in and week out, each can maintain their sobriety. While this may work for some, God has a much better plan for the life of someone embroiled in such sinful behavior. And God’s plan was never about making man stronger and to be less dependent on Him.

What I discovered is that until one fully surrenders his or her life to Christ, recovery cannot be complete. Until the darkness of the sinful addiction is replaced by the light of Christ, the old ways will continue to prevail. It is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ where one can truly find freedom, as opposed to the shallow and feeble attempts of man to self-prevail. It does, however, require brokenness and true repentance—God’s Formula—to be successful.

There is simply no way to “maintain” your sinful life and have true victory. Recovery can only happen when the repentant heart has been changed by God. Light must replace darkness.

But first you have to acknowledge your brokenness and turn your life over to Him.

Yes, bringing secret sin out in the open in the form of accountability is a good thing. But merely sitting around in a circle discussing each other’s failures has never been God’s recipe for deliverance (c.f. Matthew 15:14).

Allowing God’s Light to manifest in your life makes no room for sin to ever have dominion over you again.

And that is where true freedom is found.