A Common Misconception of “God”
Many who have grown up with a religious family or a super-religious church find themselves turning away from the God they are told to follow. Why is that? Because the “God” of these families and churches is a set of rules to follow. For many of these people, this God they are taught about is an angry old man sitting in the sky just waiting for you to mess up so that he can smite you. Somehow, the God of love, compassion, and mercy does not exist in their minds. They believe that you must follow a very hard set of rules and be perfect- you must work yourself into Heaven. And though I am not here to preach or force someone into my beliefs, I want to point out that this is actually the opposite of what the Bible says. It specifically states that works will not get you into Heaven. It also states that we are under the dispensation of grace and that what Jesus did set us free from the bondage of the Law that so many like to quote. Yes, we are expected to try to live well, but we have a Father, not an evil boss, standing with open arms to help us through this and be merciful when we mess up.
A Higher Power?
Now, there are also those that do not believe in a higher power at all. They cannot understand the idea of an invisible being controlling everything. There are many that cannot believe in something they cannot see, and that is understandable. Let’s take the “God” thing out of the equation for just a moment and let me pose a question: How can there be a creation without a creator? Even if you do not believe in the “God” that people often refer to, do you not believe that something put all of this here? Something more than a giant explosion? To me, it only makes sense that something created everything we see and made man to adapt to the changes in the world, but I digress.
What Good Does a Higher Power Do?
Everything I am saying here is not to force you to believe in a god, but more to help you see that there is, in fact, something more powerful than mere mortals in charge. Some believe it is God, some believe it is karma, some believe it is the universe itself, and there are other ideas of this higher power. Regardless, most people can agree that there are consequences to actions and what you sow you will reap. For instance, if you mistreat people, they probably will not like you. If you overeat, you will gain weight. Every action has a reaction- even scientists believe that. Basically, it is agreed upon by most that something- God, the universe, Allah, karma, or another- is in charge.
When Alcoholics Anonymous and other addiction treatment programs encourage participants to surrender to a higher power, they are referring to one that you can understand. The biggest problem, in fact, seems to come from the word “God”, not necessarily the idea of something controlling everything. If you can get past the word, you can admit to yourself that following your own self-will has brought you to the point you are today. You can agree that your actions and addiction have created reactions that you do not like. The truth is we are only in control of ourselves, but being able to take control of yourself is a huge step in recovery. First, though, is understanding the fact that as humans, we have weaknesses, and we need help to overcome those weaknesses. We need something bigger than ourselves to grab onto for hope and help.
If you or a loved one are struggling to get help for addiction, reach out today to speak to one of our addiction professionals. We can help you make the first step to your long lasting sobriety. Contacts us here.