Have you heard enough about the plans for economic recovery? I have been watching some of the 2012 presidential contenders wrestle over the best way to bring recovery to our nation. Our country definitely needs recovery and its not just financial. In fact, the kind of recovery that so many people need is recovery from their own destructive habits. When it comes to conversation about addictions, recovery is the goal. This is more than a 12 step plan for our bad habits. It is theological.
The word recovery can be found in 2 Timothy 2:26. Paul writes, “that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil.” (KJV) The word here in the original language means to “return to a state of soberness.” Getting sober is more than simply drinking lots of coffee after a night of heavy drinking. It means to regain an accurate picture of life. Another translation says, “to come to their senses” or in other words to regain sensitivity to what is true. Addictions and compulsive habits dull our senses and leave us deaf to God’s voice.
In a previous church, one of the leaders of the church was talking about her niece who was recovering from a drug addiction. She relayed her niece’s comment about her recovery. She said, “For the first time in years, I noticed the sunshine and the blue sky.” She said, “it was like everything was dulled when the addiction was in control, but now I can see more clearly.” When she began her journey along the road of recovery, life became vibrant again.
Our television is on the fritz right now. For the last two weeks, everything has a greenish hue. It is funny how everything we watch now has an eerie feel. Our daughter Hannah has discovered if she slaps the glass screen the color will return to normal. She is quite the technician. I am always surprised how vibrant the color is after she slaps it back into normal mode. I find that I got used to a duller, slightly weirder, version of whatever I am watching.
God’s recovery plan is to bring us back to our original vibrancy and Jesus ministry slapped people back into reality. Sort of like the scene where Cher slaps Nicholas Cage with the classic line “snap out of it.” Jesus wants us to see with new eyes God’s plan apart from all the stimulants we depend upon. In fact, Jesus once said, “[the Father] has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind.” Theologically, this is called sanctification. This is a work of God’s grace where he over time strips away all the pollution and corruption of sin and restores us to our original design. It is a process of recovering a heart that loves what God loves. It is a process of recovering a mind that delights in God’s word. It is a process of recovering a body that is free to fully serve God.
Is there a habit that has control over your life? What is preventing you from seeing the most important things of life? Are you open to God’s recovering–sanctifying–work?