Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sober Mercies by Heather Kopp


I have read this book multiple times. Why? Because it deals with the reality of addiction and compulsion in the Christian life. I am not an alcoholic but there are plenty of things in my life that I love too much that don't deserve that place in my life.

Heather Kopp opens up her life and lets us see what led her down a bad path and how she got back up.

The path in our life may or may not be as dramatic but I think most of us need some help and house cleaning.

Here are a few passages from the book:

"My heart went out to her. And I wondered for the umpteenth time if we Christians don't make the most miserable addicts. Since we tend to think of addiction strictly as a moral failing, most of us try to pull ourselves up by our spiritual bootstraps. We pray harder, repent more fervently, and fight temptation until we're blue in the face.

When our best efforts prove futile, we feel ever more guilty and ashamed. And confused. Don't we love God enough to quit? Doesn't God love us enough to deliver us?

Meanwhile, to even admit that we have become addicted feels like a betrayal of Christ's work on the cross.

Too often, in order to shield those we love, and to protect God's reputation (and ours), we try to hide our problem. Ironically, our desire to maintain a good witness can turn us into sneaks, liars, and hypocrites. Which then turns us into prisoners of our own egos."

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"We learned that our addictions--crushing and humbling though they may be--remind us of our ravenous appetite for spiritual sustenance. They remind us that we are desperate for nothing so much as we are desperate for God. They remind us that when we think we want a drink or a drug or an emotional fix, when the wind blows through our empty spaces, what we really crave is grace."

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"So much about how recovery works feels counterintuitive. How do you explain to people it has little to do with willpower or being strong, but almost everything to do with knowing that you are weak and powerless? That only when you give up fighting to control your addiction do you give God room to fight for you? That when you surrender control, you regain your freedom to choose?"

~From Sober Mercies by Heather Kopp

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