Consider


Greek icon of the Twelve Apostles (in the fron...

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Consider

One gets a good feel for what the Christian life is all about by reading the Epistle to the Philippians.  Not that Paul set out to write a letter that would define the nature of the Christian life.  In fact, Philippians is a rather chatty letter to Christian friends in the church there.  Paul shares with them what has been happening in his life.  He is under house arrest, chained 24 hours a day to a Roman soldier.  He is awaiting Caesar’s verdict (concerning his appeal made during the temple riot in Jerusalem).  It does not look too good for Paul. There is a chance that the verdict will not be positive, and that he will be executed.  he thanks the Philippians for their gift to him.  He reports on the health of their fellow church member Epaphroditus.  And so on.  Paul shares all this news and more with his friends.  he does have a few words to say to two of the women who hold leadership roles in the church – Euodia and Syntyche.  They need to stop their feuding.  But mostly, Paul reflects on what it has meant for him to be a follower of Jesus.

Perhaps this is why Paul’s witness to the power of a Christian lifestyle is so moving: it is indirect.  He is not arguing a case or making a point.  His testimony emerges indirectly and therefore rings of authenticity.  What we see in the Epistle to the Philippians is the shape and texture of the life of a mature Christian.  it is, therefore, a model for us of what the Christian life is all about.  What we see in Paul is the real thing.  This is what it means to be a Christian.

It is to this sort of lifestyle that the Twelve Steps points us too.  This has been quite clear in our examination of the Twelve Steps.  An addiction-free lifestyle is a Christian lifestyle.  The Twelve Steps get us started in the right direction.  Now it is up to us to keep on in this way.  The passage you should read and study at this point is Philippians 3:12-14; 4:4-9 identifies for us what it means to live like a Christian.

What is Paul’s goal in life (3:12-14)?   How would you describe what Paul wants to obtain?

Why do you suppose that Paul emphasizes “pressing on” and “straining toward” in 3:12-14?

In 4:4-9, what are the attitudes that enable people to cope successfully in difficult times?  Which of these attitudes are of special significance to recovering addicts?  Why?

“An addiction-free lifestyle is a Christian lifestyle.”  In what ways have you found this to be true?

Share one significant outcome for you as a result of studying these subjects.

We cannot ever say, “I am completely free of all addictive behavior.”  What we have begun in the Twelve Step program we must continue to follow.  It really is “one day at a time.”  On the other hand, it is well within our reach to live whole, happy, productive lives beyond the grip of addiction.  And we will do so if we trust God and live in his way, in the company of his people who are walking this pilgrim way.  This being the case, it is important to think carefully about what we will do now, at this point in this discussion.  What is the next step for you?

What makes life worth living?

What brings you joy at this moment in your life?  Share how it does?

In what ways are you seeking to make these thoughts part of your life?

End by praying, asking God to help you take the next step required of you.  Also pray for people you are trying to help.

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About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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