CR Devotional Lesson 8
Most of us will admit that we like to have people we care about walking alongside us through the bad times as well as the good times in life. With others there to encourage us, obstacles don’t seem nearly as large. On the other side of the coin, it isn’t much fun to celebrate by ourselves. All of us enjoy commemorating the turning points of our lives with our families and friends.
In California one thousand people took part in an eight-week, countywide “weight meltdown.” Restaurants planned special menus and local gyms offered free or discounted memberships. After the eight weeks, the participants learned that they had together lost a total of 7,500 pounds. They attributed their success to countywide support and to the division of participants into teams of five whose members stayed in touch with one another throughout the week.
Recent scientific evidence has found that a woman with breast cancer improves her survival rate by 60 percent if she has six or more friends. As a woman undergoes the traumatic recuperation process from this form of cancer, her friends-not her doctors, the hospital personnel or chemotherapy-are often the most significant factor in her survival.
Similarly, as we walk through our recovery journey, the people in our lives-our friends, sponsor and accountability partners-can be the most significant factor in our ability to successfully complete the program. These important people remind us to continue attending meetings and to keep journaling and working the principles. Sponsors and accountability partners help us to keep our inventory balanced, honest and complete. They can join us as we serve others. And, most important, they remind us that we’re not alone.
Identifying a sponsor and/or accountability partners is especially important before you begin Principles Four through Six-principles in which you work on getting right with God, yourself and others. Having a sponsor and/or accountability partners is vital before you attempt to begin your moral inventory. It has been said that attempting an inventory by yourself can be as futile as peeling an onion to find the core. When you are finished, there’s nothing left but the peelings and the tears.
Principle Four-“Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trust”-is all about getting rid of “truth decay.” It’s about coming clean. Proverbs 15:14 points out that, “the discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds folly.”
Are you ready to feed on the truth about your life? Well then, it’s time to take out the trash. That garbage can get pretty heavy at time, and you don’t need to handle it alone. You need someone who has gone before you on the road to recovery to help you bear the burden.
Following are four ways in which your sponsor or accountability partners can assist you:
1. They can be there to discuss in detail issues that are too personal or would take up too much time in a meeting. This is especially needed while working Principle Four. These individuals model Christ’s grace and forgiveness and give you a sense of perspective.
2. They’re available in times of crisis or potential relapse. Ecclesiastes 4:12 states: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
3. They serve as a sounding board by providing an objective view based on their own experiences, victories and hope. This is especially valuable while working Principle Six. When you’re dealing with the sensitive area of making amends and offering forgiveness, you need a reliable sounding board.
4. They’re there to encourage you work the principles at your own speed. It’s not their job to work the principles for you, but they can coach your progress, confront you when you’re stuck and slow you down when you’re working through the program too fast.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Having a sponsor and an accountability team are essential to your recovery. It’s important to start forming your accountability team as soon as you embark on your recovery journey.
Take a Look:
- Do you have someone involved in your recovery to whom you can go for advice? If not, why not?
- If you don’t have an accountability team established, who are you going to turn to during times of struggle and temptation?
- How are each of the four services a sponsor or accountability partner can provide important to your recovery?
- If you’ve completed working the eight principles, have you made yourself available to be a sponsor for someone else? If not, why not?