Learning to live under grace

Romans 8 – New International Version (NIV)

Life Through the Spirit

 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. . . .  5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. . . . 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

One of the dangers of going through this recovery process without acceptance of God is wallowing in the shame, guilt, anger, resentments, fears etc. that have driven the abuses and addictions in our lives.  As I’ve attempted to control my recovery process and my life without the benefit of God’s grace, mercy, love and forgiveness, I have continued to think, talk, act, and live as though none of God’s concern, love, and care were actually available to me, which has prevented me from sharing that with others.

The law of the Spirit is the law of love.  The fruits and gifts of the Spirit come from God’s love and are intended to share and show God’s love.  However, if I continue to think that I’m not in need of, worthy of, or capable of receiving God’s love, then I am living in the “flesh” and acting out in my abuses and addictions while absorbing the effects of the abuses and addictions of other people.

I have had many lessons and those who have tried to teach me about God’s love, care, concern, and compassion for me, but it isn’t something I have actually learned.  Now I’m learning that I’m worthy, not because of anything other than the fact that I exist and am loved by God.  Much like a newborn infant is worthy of love just for being born.  The lie that I learned to live with through life experience was the opposite of that.

As I am going through the steps and opening myself up to the fourth step inventory process, I’m learning to live under grace and to let go of the shame, guilt, blame, etc. that seem to be attached to the experiences and interactions of my life, both as a child and an adult.  I’m learning to take each of these thoughts, memories, emotions, fears, angers, resentments, and hurts to cry, “Abba Father,” knowing that the suffering I’ve experienced and caused others to experience, are known and shared by a compassionate God who is bringing me through this, not so I can be condemned to keep living in pain and suffering, but in order to bring me to a place where I can share in his glory – the glory of being loved.



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