#LABEL #OnlineRecovery – No-Win Situations (Step 1, Day 1)

We’re developing this resource over the next few months. When completed, you will be able to follow the full 12-week programme online, and subscribe to a series of daily emails. Please contact us for further information.

Step 1: Powerless

Introduction to Step 1

We admitted that we were powerless over our problems—that our lives had become unmanageable.
We’re following the recovery plan from The Life Recovery Bible. Click the link to purchase your copy from Amazon. 

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Step 1: Powerless – Day 1 of 7 – No-Win Situations

“I know that nothing good lives in me...” — Romans 7:18(NLT)

Bible Reading

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal.

So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.) So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt.

Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!” Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.”

Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away. The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.” And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”

Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord , who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael.

(Genesis 16:1-15 NLT)

No-Win Situations

Devotional taken from The Life Recovery Bible:
We admitted that we were powerless over our problems—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Sometimes we are powerless because of our stations in life. We may be in a situation where other people have power over us. We may feel that we are trapped by the demands of others and that there’s no way to please them all. It’s a double bind: To please one is to disappoint another. Sometimes when we feel stuck and frustrated with our relationships, we look for a measure of control by escaping through our addictive behaviors.

Hagar is a picture of powerlessness. She had no rights. As a girl, she was a slave to Sarai and Abram. When they were upset because Sarai could not bear children, Hagar was given to Abram as a surrogate. When she did become pregnant, as they had wanted, Sarai was so jealous that she beat Hagar, and Hagar ran away. All alone out in the wilderness, she was met by an angel who gave her an amazing message: “ ‘Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.’ Then he added, ‘I will give you more descendants than you can count.’ And the angel also said, ‘You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means “God hears”), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress.’ ” (Genesis 16:9-11).

When we are caught in no-win situations, it’s tempting to run away through our addictive/compulsive escape hatches. At times like these God is there, and he is listening to our woes. We need to learn to express our pain to God instead of just trying to escape it. He hears our cries and is willing to give us hope for the future.

Please note that we will only be including the full devotional for the first ten days of the programme. You will need to purchase your own copy of the The Life Recovery Bible for the full devotionals after this.

Welcome to the Day 1!

We all have different reasons why we escape into our addictive behaviour. We all have hurts, habits and hang-ups that haunt us; we all have flaws, faults and failures that make us flounder. It’s how we deal and react to these – and life’s struggles – that determines how we behave and what we do. For many, that means some kind of dysfunctional behaviour that becomes addictive.

It may be alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, sex; any number of things can become addictive and destructive – to yourself and to others around you. For some it is over-eating, under-eating; it can be compulsive shopping; it can be any manner of things. Whatever it may be, the end result is harmful.

And you’re in turmoil. Because on the one hand, the behaviour is harmful; on the other, it brings you pleasure and relief (albeit inappropriate at the very least). It’s a no-win situation.

It’s important to face up to the situation and to be totally honest – not just about the harmful and destructive nature of it all, but about what you gain from it too. You must be honest that there is something to gain from your behaviour. That’s often hard to accept, when the behaviour is so destructive and harmful, especially when others are hurt or harmed because of your actions.

It’s time to realise that you really are in a no-win situation. There is no easy solution. There are gains and losses for you personally – both from continuing the inappropriate behaviour, and from ceasing and stopping the inappropriate behaviour. There are gains and losses whichever way you decide to turn. It’s a no-win situation.

Or so it seems.

But there is another way – and you have started the journey. There is a way to gain back control over your situation. You must be honest and realise that you cannot do it alone – otherwise, you would have succeeded already. But here you are! And being here is part of the solution to your situation.

Over the next three months, day by day, if you follow the daily readings, and meditate on what they mean for you, it will make a difference. It will present you with a new outlook, a new way of looking at your situation, and a new way of escape from it all. It won’t be easy. There will be challenges along the way, there will be obstacles, and you must be determined and dedicated to the task ahead.

But as with many things in life, the harder the struggle, the greater the gain. It can be an uphill battle, a tough old climb to the top. But – wow! What a view you get when you reach there! What a sense of achievement! A life free from addictive and compulsive behaviour – a life of freedom, and to Live A Blessed Everyday Life – is worth fighting for. We look forward to the journey ahead with you. Get in touch, if you would like to – we would love to hear from you, and we are here to encourage and support you along the way if you wish.

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