Three Taverns Church

End The Preoccupation With Self

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“At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” Big Book, Step 8

This quote puts the focus of my recovery where it ought to be: On God. Yes, I am trying to put my life in order. I made many mistakes in my addiction and hurt many people. I need to make amends to those I hurt in order to make things right, and I won’t be right until I’ve set the past right.

But the healing doesn’t stop there, or perhaps I should say my healing is not the ultimate goal. The 12 Steps are a means to putting my life in order, but putting my life in order is only a means to serving God and others. If I recover through my program but do not serve God, my ‘recovery’ is of no use. In fact, you could argue I haven’t really ‘recovered’ at all. Someone who is truly ‘recovered’ from any addiction should, in the process, be broken of their addiction to Self.

One of the primary causes of my addiction is my obsession with myself: Do people like me; do they approve of me; do they find me attractive; are they  useful to me;  what is in it for me, etc. Pride is the greatest human sin, and the only antidote for pride is humility. And what is humility? Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Instead of only thinking about what I need, I should think equally hard about what others need. Instead of struggling to build myself up, I should work diligently to build up those around me. Instead of begging God for another favor, I should ask God how I can bless others.

End the preoccupation with Self. I am not the end, but the means. My recovery is not about me. It is all for the glory of God.

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