God Forgives. Can We?
We have the tendency to beat ourselves up and/or be extremely punishing of others who don’t meet our expectations. This judgmental attitude also applies to how we feel that God interacts with us. We know that His love and forgiveness is unconditional, but we have a difficult time believing that. After everything we have done during substance abuse in our past, it is hard to forgive ourselves. As a result, understanding that God forgives us (past, present and future) is hard to believe.
The main story of love and forgiveness is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. This demonstration of sacrificial love is one that we strive for, but as humans, we can only achieve it with God’s influence. When we use drugs and alcohol we separate ourselves from God’s love, replacing it with idolatry behaviors. When drugs and alcohol run out and all that is left is God, then we re-engage. He never leaves us; we turn our backs on Him. His love and forgiveness comforts us even after we have made unwise decisions.
Maybe it gets easier to accept God’s love and forgiveness when our behavior is more in line with our recovery program. Attending recovery support group meetings, Bible study and working with a sponsor are several ways to stay spiritually connected. Learning to forgive yourself and accept God’s love takes time. As we grow in sobriety so will our ability to believe God’s unconditional love and forgiveness for our lives.
For more information about faith-based rehab check out our article Fear and Faith: Christian Recovery.