1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NIV
“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 so that you can stand up under it.”
It’s so easy, especially in early sobriety, to believe we have reached the pinnacle of this new way of life, and rest on our laurels. Everything is going so well. I have put down the drink. I have regained the trust of my family, my friends, and my employer. My physical strength and wellness are head and shoulders above where I was when I first sought this elusive thing called sobriety. There is love in my life and I am happy.
But while standing firm may have its advantages to some, standing firm in sobriety does not. For those in sobriety, the ground we stand firm on has a way of gradually eroding. And, if we stand firm too long, the ground can completely give way under us, leaving us vulnerable to falling into a sink hole and possible even further back into the abyss of alcoholism and addiction.
Our humanity makes this possible. When I succumb to the temptations of the world, I suddenly find that I am standing still in my quest to better understand and receive the blessings of living a sober life. When I am focused on the sweet pleasures that temptation can offer, the ground under me is already starting to eat away at the foundations of the new life that has been so graciously offered and given to me.
But here is where the danger comes in. All the while, while I am stopping to casually admire and consider the man-made pleasures I have encountered, I am actually resting on my laurels. But in my mind, I am filled with the self-talk of, “you’ve been sober for a while, you’ll be ok,” or, “I’ve always wanted this or that,” or the, ““nobody would ever know,” line.
How are we to know when the gradual decomposition of the ground under you could turn into a slippery slope, or even completely fall out from under you and into a sinkhole that would put you face to face with that first drink?
As a sober Christian, I have encountered many of these temptations as I trudge the path of sobriety. I have more times than not found myself stopping to smell the sweet aromas that accompany them. I have fooled myself into believing that I was standing firm, when in fact I was resting on my laurels, either on the edge of, on actually on the slippery slopes of life.
If I have faith in the One who has blessed me and guided me into the light, I can at times see the temptations of the world for what they really are. If my faith is strong and I am walking in the light, God gives me the courage to cautiously walk on by, thereby keeping me focused on what lay ahead of me this day.
For if I don’t stop to consider the temptations of the world, there is no fooling myself into the illusion of standing firm while I admire the world and pat myself on the back.
I pray that you have the sight and the courage to recognize and disregard the temptations you encounter this day.
May God bless and keep you.
Jon B. Korn
Alcoholic, Addict and Sinner, Saved by Grace