The Second Step: Why bother? (My Step 02)

August 16, 2006

After you’ve spent some time in addiction, “why bother” becomes the most important question in your life. If I am just going to sin again, why bother to repent? If I am just going to get drunk after the meeting, why bother to sober up before it? If I am just going to drive my family away, why bother trying to be civil to them now? God can’t forgive, because I never change, so why bother trying for anything anymore?Obviously, your hardcore, longterm addict is a barrel of laughs to be around. Well, that may actually be true. Addicts are usually rather adept at disguising their despair. But they are not superhuman, so it will leak out eventually. Eventually they know they will be found out. So, why bother hiding it anymore?

“Why bother” is a powerful deterrent to recovery. In particular, since 12 step programs ask you to turn to a higher power, which is usually interpreted as God, many long-term addicts seem to believe that they are twice doomed. First, because they won’t leave their addiction. Second, because God won’t be able to stand their presence.

How do you counter “why bother?” You can’t, really. Once somewhere has hit that point, it is up to them to get out. The best you can offer is a testimony. So…

I know God loves you. I know that He wants you back. I know this because He wants me back and, for a long time, I was convinced I was a big-time sinner. I also knew that I would never stop.

God has changed me. He is changing me as I type these words. He is changing me as you read them. He is doing it because I want Him to, which wasn’t really true until fairly recently.

If God loves me and wants me back, then there is no reason to suspect that he wouldn’t want you back. Some may say that my sins were not great (I never commited adultery or murder, for instance). However, they were great enough. I wasn’t going to give them up. I was going to turn back to them again and again, over and over, for the rest of my life. I refused to lay them on the altar. I was rebellious. I was unrepentent. Though the sins may not have been great, my refusal to accept the Atonement was. It was sufficient to damn me as efficiently as any greater sin. That was my reality.

If your reality sounds similar, know that God is bringing me back. Whatever progress I have made or am making is directly attributable to a renewal of his influence in my life. God loves me. I am more sure of that than I am of anything else. Even though I have been, in my mind, the vilest of sinners, God loves me and wants me back. In order to get me back, He is willing to forgive all my sins. He is willing to take all my irredeemable desires. All I have to do is ask and abide in His answer.

Once again, if God loves me and wants me back, then there is no reason that he wouldn’t want you back. There is nothing special about me. I am not likely to be called to positions of important ecclesiastical, political, social, or economic power. I am really quite the nobody. If God is spending time and energy on getting me back, he will spend in on you. Because he loves you.

Here is the passage to drive this point home:

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.

12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.

13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 – 13)

Though we stray, though we harm Him in sin, though we are unstable, though we are human, he died to make us whole and he loves it when we humbly turn to Him. Why not make a perfect God a little happier today? I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


5 Responses to “The Second Step: Why bother? (My Step 02)”

  1. ethesis Says:

    he will spend in on you. Because he loves you

    That is really true. I’d never understood the things you point out about an addict’s mind-set before, but I’ve known that God loves people more than they understand and more than they love themselves.

    You’ve put it together in perspective.

  2. Thanks Says:

    I just stumbled on this looking for something to keep me going. Thank you for your words. My tomorrow will be better because of you.

  3. marlonya Says:

    this is so not good web site

  4. Heidi Says:

    Words I needed at exactly the time I needed them. The Lord lead me to read this tonight and I am ever so grateful.

    • Silvana Says:

      There is a page in progress I created on Facebook that might help you. It is called “The Healer’s Art” . I invite you to give it a look. Thanks

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