My wife, Karen and I joined the leadership team of Celebrate Recovery when the ministry was launched about 3 years ago. In our ignorance, we thought we would join the team to share our life experiences and our wisdom with others who had not yet learned how to live their Christian faith. In a very short time, however, we learned that we were not as “healthy” as we thought!
I have been a Christian since I was 10 and Karen since she was 20, and we have been about the process of growing in our faith for many years. But CR has helped us understand how to practically apply Biblical truths to actual events in life. For example, if a person’s recurring problem is anger, jealousy, pride, discouragement or even alcohol or drug abuse, that behavior is usually the outward manifestation of a life coping mechanism. More simply stated, a person is angry not because of anger, but because they are reacting in an unhealthy way to events in life, most likely rooted in events of the past that have been denied.
CR is a tool to help us understand how to apply the Beatitudes as we live out our life. It teaches us to step out of denial and admit that I have an unhealthy tendency to act out in unhealthy ways, to admit I am powerless to manage in my own strength and to acknowledge that I am precious to Jesus who loves me and wants me healthy. I, then, turn to Him to deal with my past hurts and regrets and use what I learn from my past to live a rich life not only now in the present but also in the future as I deal with hurts, habits and hang-ups in me and those around me in a Christ-centered, healthy way as opposed to the way culture would suggest I should react.
CR, though created to help alcoholics 25 years ago, helps us deal with all issues of life – 70% of all participants across the nation are struggling with non-alcohol issues like rejection, abandonment, physical or emotional abuse, brokenness and life in general. And here is the best news – most participants are now CELEBRATING RECOVERY from their past and living life with new certainty of who Christ is in them. Every Christian, regardless of their season of life, should be in CR!
-Earl & Karen Watkins