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posted Apr 27, 2012, 12:51 PM by Susannah Francis   [ updated Apr 27, 2012, 12:51 PM ]
By Zachary T. Francis

This is a summary of a YouTube quote from someone who cuts. But I think this could apply to drugs or anything.

"How long do you have to stay sober?" My initial response is “for the rest of my life.” This causes me to have a panic attack. But if I think about it, though, I correct myself. After I do this, if I am asked "How long do I have to stay sober?" I say, " It’s just for today. All I have to worry about is today. Today I’m doing good.”

Luke 9:23 says, "whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Why daily? Why shouldn't we say "I can't use heroin for the rest of my life?" Or "today I will stop gambling forever!" Why is it said to make a daily choice? Maybe forever is too overwhelming...too easy to let the accuser in.

When I was angry all the time, my girlfriend (who is now my wife) approached me about it. I told her, "I can't promise that I will be different tomorrow, but I will do everything in my power to improve every day." Improving every day, taking things one day at a time. Is that how we run in a way to seek the prize?

I know someone who went back to prison because he made one mistake on his fifth year of probation. Five years of behaving and he slips. Would God see things that way? And if he does, than why did he send his son to live among us? To be without sin? To die on the cross and cover our sins with his blood? What power is there in grace if we are already righteous? When we make mistakes and look at life as an all nothing process, we will fail.

Take dieting for instance. Say you’re tired of gaining weight. You tell yourself, I will never eat chocolate again! You're good every day, and then one day a friend buys you your favorite candy bar. It wasn't malicious...they may not know or remember you're on a non-sugar diet. But you eat it. And what happens? You go on a chocolate binge, eating every piece of chocolate in sight. You failed. But what happens if you say, “I slipped today, but I'm not a failure. I make mistakes. I will try again tomorrow.” For me, this is why the phrase "there is no one righteous, not even one" is so freeing to me. There is no one who fails to make a mistake. We all slip up. None of us are perfect.

So if that is the case, do we just throw in the towel and forget to abstain for alcohol, cutting, dieting, shoplifting? Of course not. But we do take it one day at a time. We do take up our cross daily. Daily. Every day we get up. And if we slip...if we slice our arms up...if we smoke another joint...if we get wasted and drive our car home....if we steal another CD, have we failed? Yes! But all of us do from time to time. We just need to get up the next day and try again. And before you know it, weeks...months go by and the Lord has delivered us. Day by day...week by week...month by month.; every day getting easier to abstain from hurting ourselves. Every day working through our negative thoughts, working to believe the truth...the way God sees us. When we slip, we get up again. The first year, we may slip 10 times....the next...eight. Five years down the road, we don't remember the last time we slipped. That's how we win the race. That's how we are delivered. That's how the power of grace can work in our lives.