Summary: Recovery begins when a group of people, especially the church, those of us who say forgiveness is just waiting on the other side of personal transparency, lead the way.

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Well, if you weren’t here last week we’re in Part Two of a series. And if you’re new to our church, we basically take messages or ideas and talk about them until we run out of things to say, and then we go on to the next thing. So, we’re at the very beginning of this series called Recovery Road. We’re not like the current events church, which means we don’t try to talk about everything that’s going on in culture. But every once in a while something happens at a national level, and when it intersects with Scripture, when it intersects with what we believe Jesus taught, then I feel like it’s my responsibility, and I think all pastors’ responsibility, to say, Wait a minute. Let’s forget what we were going to do and let’s talk about what everybody is thinking about anyway. So, since we’re in the middle of supposedly a national recovery, and since the Scripture addresses specifically the subject of recovery, we thought we should talk about recovery. So this is the second part of an “I don’t know how long” series, Recovery Road. I’m thinking I might just preach on this until the whole country recovers. What do you think? This could go through the end of the month, I don’t know.

Anyway, now in thinking about recovery, I started thinking about who are like the recovery experts, because there are people who do recovery things all the time. And it dawned on me about a week and a half ago, wait a minute, I’ve met a lot of recovery experts through the years. In fact, some of you that are here now, you’re at all of our campuses, some of you are watching online and specifically, I’m talking about my friends and your friends who have recovered from alcohol and drug addiction, who are part of a Twelve-Step Program. I’ve given out chips at CA meetings and NA meetings and been to AA meetings. And if you have been a part of that, you are the recovery experts.

So I called a friend of mine who had been through AA many, many years ago and I said, I know that the whole AA thing is sacred for people who would go back and say that’s what saved my life, and so the last thing I want to do is to sort of hijack those ideas in a sermon. Do you think it’s okay if I talk about this in big church? He said, Andy, I feel like you talk about it in big church all the time. Most of us who’ve been through AA think you have been through AA. So in light of that, what I want to propose, and then we’ll just dismiss, is I think the people who have been through AA, CA and NA, all those things and have recovered, they know what they’re doing. So my proposal is that we put the entire country through AA, through the 12-Step Program.

And if we all go through it, then I think we’ll recover. And if maybe not the whole country, at least let’s put Congress through the Twelve-Step Program. Wouldn’t that be great? I mean wouldn’t it be great? Now be careful. Wouldn’t it be neat on CSPAN to sort of see this big room with all 535 members of Congress, the House, and the they’re all holding hands in a big circle and they say something like, Hi, we’re the Congress of the United States of America and we’re spendaholics, or we’re taxaholics, or we’re stay in office no-matter-what-aholics. Or whatever, you fill in the blank as a Republican or Democrat. I don’t care. Wouldn’t it be neat to kind of just see them kind of confess as a group and embrace the Twelve Steps? I think we would recover, because that program has been proven over and over. And here’s where I want to be sensitive, but I came up with maybe—I took the first step of the Twelve-Step process and I reworded it for them. Wouldn’t it be cool if they all said something like this: We are powerless over our spending addiction. Wouldn’t that be a great confession? Our debt has become unmanageable. That would be great.

And what about . . . here’s the second step of the Twelve-Step process, and we’re actually going to talk about this so next week, so don’t miss next week. But imagine if all the leaders in our country came around this idea: We have come to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Wouldn’t that be awesome to just all 535 of them drop to their knees and throw their hands up in the air and say, This is too big a problem for us to solve, we can’t fix this, we need a power higher than ours—and just declare their dependence on God. How cool would that be? Instead, of course now we’re trying to eliminate prayer from everything. But the point is, those of you who’ve recovered through Twelve-Step, you understand this. You really do understand the secret.

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