Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Devil Made me Do It!!!

One of the things that I learned in A. A. years ago is that as alcoholics, we tend to blame people, places and things for our drinking.

“Well if he didn’t act so angry, I wouldn’t drink.” Or, “If we still lived in New York rather than in this crummy state of New Jersey, then I’d be happy”. (Sorry New Jersey inhabitants). Then there are those legos. “I keep stepping on them.”."If it happens one more time, they all go into the garbage!” (Hopefully, it’s only the legos who would end up in the garbage) 

“This type of discourse goes on and on. “I am sick of people acting that way.” “I deserve a better house.” “Doesn’t anyone, besides me, try to keep order?”

Truthfully, none of these pass the muster of losing self control.
“Sorry, your days of finding excuses and blaming are over” I was told in A A.

 I learned so much in A.A. I know Christians sometimes put down A.A. I actually think if more Christians lived out the program’s principles, life would be lived more honorably. A huge factor in A.A., is that you are not allowed to wear masks. It is a program of honesty. You don’t get away with playing charades. (You know like “playing church”)

The Lord was after something in me, having to do with self control.

The other day, multiple buttons of mine were pushed. It was like BAM BAM BAM. I thought of those big red buttons from Staples Stores. I wish I could say I exhibited self control…NOT!!! I was too busy pointing my finger.

I was blaming people= my husband and a friend who let me down. Places= my cluttered and small apartment. Things= unhealthy food that just happens to be in our home. It causes me to overeat. 

See what I did? I dug my own grave. 

God wants me to admit that blaming people, places and things is not something I only did in the past. Rather it is something that I sometimes, still do.

I didn’t resort to drinking… thank God. And I do mean THANK GOD! I was convicted though.

I apologized to my husband. I need to forgive my friend. I can gratefully accept where we live. I can start organizing things, rather than talking about it. I can determine to eat better and stop buying tempting snacks.

Self control is so similar to discipline. I sometimes feel when the discipline gene was handed out; I must have been in the ladies room and missed getting it.

I am one of those creative types who are in dream land at times.  I can go from doing a project, to going to check mail, to texting a friend, playing with crafts and then realize that 3 hours have passed and I missed a dentist appointment. It’s not always that bad, but I have my days!

Without looking this up in the Dictionary, discipline and disciple have to have a connection. With that being so, to be a true disciple of Christ, discipline/self control is something to be achieved. 

However, God does not just zap me with a stun gun of condemnation, when I fall short. No, He is there to correct me and encourage me. I am always learning how to yield to His love.  This self control is what He is teaching me.

I have always been bothered by something I have heard on numerous occasions.  In essence, it is said, when there is a list in the Bible i.e. “Love is patient, love is kind etc. or the fruits of the Holy Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace etc” the first one on the list, must be most important ( and that they descend the list according to their importance. I ask, when the situation calls for self control, how can we say it is the least important? 

When my buttons were being pushed and I was reacting in kind, I had to rein myself in and show some self control. I could just say, the whole day was really a case of the “Devil made me do it!” 
Then Linda’s New and Revised version of the Bible would have self control totally obliterated. Or we can imagine that self control is for the other person.  

Of course, that is absurd, but we sure can think that way sometimes, can’t we?

Linda Maynard

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