God has many different meanings. For Christians, God means the Father God, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. For Muslims, God means Allah. For some people, God means the Universe or Divine Energy. For others, God is simply the good orderly direction that they receive from their recovery programs. All concepts are accepted and viewed as equally valid in recovery programs. God or a Higher Power has a presence in many recovery programs because the 12-Steps include it and many people find help leaning on God or a Higher Power.
Whether not a Christian Recovery Center will help you mend your relationship with the God of Your Understanding is contingent on a variety of factors:
• The God of Your Understanding
First and foremost, the God of your understanding must be the Christian Concept of the Higher Power. I have a belief system that that concept of the Higher Power, a Christian Recovery Center will not help you mend your relationship with the God of Your Understanding. You should look into a rehab that is specific to your faith or a secular rehab that has a diverse range of individuals.
• Your Past Experience with Christianity
If you were raised Christian and saw that as a good upbringing or had past experiences with Christianity or Christians that were positive, a Christian Recovery center may be beneficial for your recovery because it is adding the specific Higher Power of Your Understanding to your recovery program. If you were raised Christian and saw that as an oppressive upbringing or had a bad experience with Christianity or Christians that were not positive, a Christian recovery center may hinder you more than help you.
• Your Views on Christianity
The label of “Christian” is extremely broad. There are many different sects of Christianity (e.g. Catholic, Evangelical, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, etc.). At the same time, not all Christians have the same beliefs about certain issues (e.g. acceptable clothing, makeup, sexuality, magical practices, cursing, etc.). If you believe in most of the rules of traditional Christianity, a conservative Christian rehab will be right for you. If you are more of a liberal Christian, a more liberal Christian rehab that only covers universal truths in Christianity will definitely be better for you. Inquire with the rehab about their beliefs and values before committing to it
What Really is Spirituality?
Spirituality has many definitions and is often used interchangeably with religion. The word “spirituality” actually stems from Latin and Greek words that mean “to have an awakening to yourself.” Spirituality does not really have anything to do with your religion, the rules, and rituals that you follow, sacred objects that you own, or where you do or do not go to church.
Spirituality is actually an experience of having strong self-esteem and feeling free to express who you truly are.
Spirituality and religion are often used interchangeably because religion was originally supposed to help people spiritually. However, human imperfection and differences make religion not a perfect system and not work for everyone. For some people, religion is a part of their spiritual journey. For example, if you are Catholic, the quiet environment of the Catholic Church can help you reflect on your life, the rituals help you feel closer to the God of Your Understanding, and the rules coincide with your personal moral beliefs. For other people, other religions or belief systems may speak to their personal spirit.
God as You Understand God: Many Paths to Spirituality
Many people come into recovery and are scared to hear the word “God.” In the 12-Steps, God is meant to be the God of Your Understanding, as it is italicized in Steps Three and Eleven. The God of Recovery is not supposed to be a punishing God; the God of Recovery is supposed to be a loving, benevolent God. If you were raised with or have experience with a concept of God that did not sit well with you, rest assured that God is not the God of Recovery or has to be the God of Your Understanding.
The God of Your Understanding can stem from the religion you were raised with, the religion that you subscribe to now, your personal belief system, an object (e.g. gemstone, book, sacred object, etc.), something within you (e.g. your conscience), or your recovery program itself. In recovery, you will meet people with all different concepts of the Higher Power. All are seen as equally valid, so do not feel pressured to have a certain concept or push a certain concept on others. There are many paths to the Higher Power, spirituality, and recovery.
There are many faith-based recovery centers and secular recovery centers ready to help you recover and find personal spirituality. Contact one today at 800-737-0933.