praying for forgiveness recoveryA lasting recovery requires more than simply resolving to abstain from drugs and alcohol. You must work to heal your mind, body, and spirit so that you’re no longer turning to addictive substances for comfort. Seeking God’s forgiveness is part of the healing process.

How Addiction Leads to Guilt and Shame

An untreated addiction can lead you to act in ways that are out of character and to feel powerless over your life. Some of the ways that alcohol and drug addiction can lead to feelings of guilt or shame include:

  • Feeling as though you’ve let down your friends and family
  • Knowing that relationships have ended because of your addiction-related behavior
  • Losing your job or struggling to make ends meet
  • Breaking the law
  • Mourning the loss of personal dreams and goals you’ve put on hold due to your substance abuse

Guilt and shame can also come from internalized stigma. Although we’ve come a long way in regard to understanding the roots of addiction, many people still wrongfully view substance abuse as a character defect instead of a chronic disease. When you’re being told by the people around you that you’d have no trouble getting sober if you only had a little more willpower, you start to believe that your struggles mean that you’re somehow “less than” those around you.

Turning to Faith as a Source of Comfort During Recovery

The Bible teaches that God forgives us because he made us in his image. He loves us regardless of our faults, and this unconditional love has no limits. Jesus brought God’s plan for forgiveness to completion when he died on the cross.

Some of the Bible verses that deal with God’s forgiveness include:

  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
  • The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. Daniel 9:9
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
  • But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
    And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
  • And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
  • Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

Forgiveness Sets You Free During Recovery

God’s forgiveness helps you move forward with recovery in four key ways.

  • Forgiving yourself. If God can forgive you for past mistakes, you can forgive yourself and make the choice to work towards a brighter future. You are loved and fully known by God.
  • Forgiving those who’ve wronged you. Just as God forgives our sins, he urges us to forgive those who have wronged us. The Bible teaches us not to hold on to resentment and past hurt. Even when a person isn’t ready to take responsibility for their actions, you have the power to choose to forgive them and work towards finding a sense of inner peace.
  • Making amends with those you’ve hurt. God’s forgiveness can help you find the strength to make amends with the people you’ve hurt as the result of your addiction. Making amends can help you begin to repair relationships with loved ones.
  • Building self-esteem and self-confidence. Strengthening your relationship with God lets you feel secure in your self-worth. This can give you the confidence you need to tackle the many challenges that come with life in recovery.

We’re Here for You

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is a Christian non-denominational drug and alcohol addiction treatment program that welcomes anyone who wants to learn how deepening their faith can help them face the challenge of sober living. Located in picturesque Port Matilda, Pennsylvania, we help men and women from many different backgrounds use spirituality as part of a holistic commitment to living a wellness-focused lifestyle. To learn more about recovery and how we can help you or your loved one begin a life free from the burden of addictive substances, contact our admissions representatives.

Looking for addiction treatment near Altoona, PA? To learn more about SJI Pennsylvania addiction rehab, and our programs, please contact us at (888) 352-3297.