There is a very popular adage from groups like AA and Celebrate Recovery that goes, “Live One Day at a Time.”
This is a two-fold message.
The first is that when we are trying to change a bad habit or overcome an addiction, we have to focus on today and today only. If we look at it like, “I can never touch a cigarette again for the rest of my life,” that can seem like a wall far too tall to climb. But “I can’t touch a cigarette today,” well, that’s a piece of cake.
We can’t place these large goals on our path, because then we lose sight of the here and now. If we make a goal to be "clean" for one month, and then we slip up on day 23, we are negating all of our victories up to then and judging ourselves a failure. But when our goal is simply 24 hours, we feel we’ve accomplished something every night as we put our heads on our pillows. And we have!
The second message is that we cannot live in the past or worry about the future. When we’ve finally come to admit that we have a problem with a hurt, habit, or hang-up, we start to see our pasts a lot more clearly. All the times we were wrong and all the times we wronged others. We start uncovering memories that we had buried down deep and opening wounds we never let heal properly. There is a certain part of recovery that requires this look into our pasts, but we cannot live there.
When we live in our past, we are continually condemning ourselves, reminding ourselves how lost we are, telling ourselves that we don’t deserve freedom or a better life. Or worse, that we are so bad, God has given up on us for sure. This is not true. It’s never true.
We also cannot live in the future, worrying about what is coming next. God has already promised to provide for us, told us not to worry. What good does worry do for you anyway?
“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34 LB)
That’s right, “Live one day at a time” is a Biblical principle! Words of Jesus! So don’t make the mistake of believing that this message is just for those in recovery. These words are for everyone who ever struggles with living in the past, worrying about the future, or setting unrealistic goals which are almost always doomed to fail. Just focus on today. Today is all you have. Learn from the past, prepare for the future, but LIVE in the here and now. Life by the yard is hard, but life by the inch is a cinch!
Founder of BackRowOnline.com & Host of the Back Row Baptist Podcast
BY MARTY FIELD
Mental health professionals say that everyone has a tendency to be addicted to something. We hear the word addiction and immediately think that it has to do with drugs, alcohol or other destructive behaviors. Often times we overlook the fact that people become addicted to an entire world of things.
Believe it or not, according to leading Christian counselors and therapists, many Christians become addicted to things as strange as guilt, loneliness and even worry. I know it seems weird, but Christians are highly prone to addictive behaviors. This is very scary because the devil knows this and uses it to his advantage.
Why? Why do Christians get addicted to behaviors like guilt and worry? Well, think about it. It all has to do with sin and control.
First, let’s look at sin.
James Daman | @jdaman04
Living in Phoenix causes me to completely forget that other areas don't experience 60-70 degree weather in Winter and early Spring. Winter often feels like Spring in other parts of the country, however in Phoenix, we know Spring is here when we start seeing lots of weeds pop up in our yard. As I work on getting rid of the weeds, I can't help but compare it to the work we do in Celebrate Recovery.
First, our goal is to get rid of the weeds, I don't know many people who are proud of their weeds. When I did a Google search to see if there were any weed contests around the world, I was able to find them, however they were all competitions for a different kind of weed.
In order to achieve our goal of getting rid of the weeds, we must work at it. We can't just pull the top of the weed off, we must get to the root and often we need help. Our lives can be a lot like that. Our inventory is a lot like getting at the root, it takes work, but it's worth it. If we just take care of the surface, it may look nice, but the issue will resurface, much like the weed.
Matt Coker | @BackRowOnline
I have always had a problem with my weight.
Since I was a little kid, I’ve been overweight. And technically, right now, I’m obese.
I’m making some headway, losing some pounds, I’m going in the right direction, but this is going to be a long road. Even if I do this “better eating/more exercising” thing flawlessly, it’ll still be a a couple years before I get myself down from “obese” to just “overweight”, and who knows how much longer until I’m “fit” (ya know, if ever).
Can I really make it that long?
But, besides the enormity of the challenge, I also have another big problem in that my motivation is low. Why? Because nothing bad has happened yet.
I’ve been overweight all of my life, but I’ve also been in good health. My mother, who has also been overweight my whole life, has always been worried about me. She developed both cancer and diabetes, and while her cancer might not have been a direct result of being overweight, it certainly didn’t help matters (and a lot of medical studies do tend to find that those who are overweight have a higher risk). She doesn’t want me to have to go through any of that and she’s worried I’m only a couple years away.
When I was younger, she would have me tested every year or two, to make sure I was still healthy. My cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, kidneys, liver, etc. have always come back not only “fine”, but well below threat levels.
By 2013, I realized that the last time I had been checked out was in 2006. Since then, I had eaten my worst. I weighed my most. I thought for sure that I was in danger of something bad happening soon. I needed a wake-up call, so I went in and had some blood work done. Waiting on the results, I was sure I was going to hear some bad news.