To view the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/9YUu3uYx4BU
This week on the Hope Rescue Podcast, Tim and Kimberly are answering two of the questions that were sent in through social media for a Q&A. This is a little different than our normal content, but were excited to hear from our listeners, and we’re going to try to answer the questions to the best of our abilities! Just to start with a disclaimer, these are the opinions of Tim and Kimberly. Questions were sent in asking for Tim and Kimberly’s opinions on these topics so that is what the episode is all about. If you disagree with what was said in response to the questions, that is okay! In fact, if you disagree or have further questions on what was said in the podcast, you can always feel free to comment on this blog post or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive into the questions!
What are your views on support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon (co-decency) Narcotics Anonymous, etc.? I'm 2 years sober and feel conflicted because I love AA and it's helped me stay sober but I cringe when I hear people choosing their own 'god' in meetings.
Tim and Kimberly begin answering this question by explaining that they love AA. They know many people, family and friends, who have completed AA and have truly overcome their addictions. They start by explaining some of the great things about AA. First, it helps people manage their addiction by modifying their behavior. Tim explains, though, that there are limitations on modified behavior. If the goal of a program is simply to modify behavior, it may work for some time but may not stick forever. Programs that focus only on behavior modification oversimplify the processes of the human brain. Tim gives the example that if a person fixes their eating disorder by focusing their energy on working out, they may easily become addicted to exercise because they have just replaced one behavior with another.
Another good thing about AA is it provides a safe place where people can share their struggles. Kimberly explains that when she and her first husband divorced, she was looking for a safe place where she could talk about her experience without feeling judged or afraid. She started attending a small group at EastLake Church in Chula Vista, and it was exactly what she needed at the time. Kimberly says, “After joining a small group, all of a sudden. there were people who knew me and loved me, and I felt safe.” Another great thing about AA is that it provides powerful tools for overcoming addiction. It is more than just a safe place for people to share their struggles; AA provides practical and useful tools that teach its members to manage their addictions.
A downfall of AA is that it merely modifies a behavior but does not transform its members. There is a difference between behavior modification and transformation. Many AA groups believe the law of inevitability, which assumes that a person will always struggle with their areas of vulnerability and that they cannot change. As Christians though, we believe that God can transform us from the inside out. Tim says, “God has never told us to attach our identities to our greatest failure.” Instead of saying that we are an addict, how would it look if we said, ‘I am a child of God, and I struggle with addiction’? That way, the identity of the person is found in Christ, but they are not denying they have a struggle they are trying to be transformed from. To answer the question about people choosing their own gods at AA meetings, Tim says, "You don't have to try to convert people at AA meetings. What you need to do is shine well and understand your connection to the creator of the universe.” Kimberly also shares that if listeners are interested in a faith-based recovery group, celebrate recovery is a great option. Celebrate Recovery is a 12 step program designed to help those struggling with hurts, hang-ups, and habits by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through the recovery process. Get more information below under ‘referenced materials.’
What is the difference between empathy and codependency?
Tim begins by explaining that being an empath is not the same thing as having empathy. People throw around the term empath when they feel empathetic easily, but that is not the same as being an empath. Also, sympathy and empathy have different meanings. Sympathy is when you share the feelings of another; empathy is when you understand the feelings of another, usually in a situation that you personally can relate to and understand. Tim explains that as Christians, we are called to be empathetic towards one another. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Ephesians 4 says to bear with one another in love. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Kimberly goes on to explain that codependency is the unhealthy extreme of an empathetic person. The focus is on the desire to be needed instead of actually helping someone. Kimberly says, “Codependency is the perfect disastrous marriage between someone being desperate for help and someone being desperately needed.” Tim says, “Codependency becomes obvious when the codependent allows, encourages, accepts, and needs their partner to be unhealthy and stuck.” Tim closes by saying that God has called each of us to love our neighbors. He has called us to be empathetic, but He has not called us to be doormats or abused. If you can't share your concerns about your relationship with your friends, you might need to get counsel because you may be in a very unhealthy relationship. Once again, we don’t expect you to agree with everything we say on the Hope Rescue Podcast, but we want to share our viewpoints and hopefully spark healthy conversations in your relationships! God bless, and we’ll see you next week!
"When we come to Christ, we have this powerful connection with a supernatural God who will transform our lives from the inside out.” -Tim
“God has never told us to attach our identities to our greatest failure.” -Tim
“Codependency is the perfect disastrous marriage between someone being desperate for help and someone being desperately needed.” -Kimberly
“Codependency becomes obvious when the codependent allows, encourages, accepts, and needs their partner to be unhealthy and stuck.” -Tim
Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:1-4: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call”
Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Celebrate Recovery: http://eastlakerecovery.com/
CELEBRATE RECOVERY SMALL GROUPS CAN:
Provide you a safe place to share your experiences, strengths, and hopes with others that are also going through a Christ-centered recovery.
Provide you with a leader who has gone through a similar hurt, hang-up or habit and who will facilitate the group as it focuses on a particular Step each week.
The leader will also follow Celebrate Recovery’s “Small Group Guidelines.”
Provide you with the opportunity to find an Accountability Partner or a Sponsor.
Encourage you to attend other recovery meetings held throughout the week.
CELEBRATE RECOVERY SMALL GROUPS WILL NOT:
Attempt to offer any professional advice. Our leaders are not counselors. At your request, we can provide you with a list of approved counseling referrals.
Allow its members to attempt to “fix” one another.