Meditations on the Twelve Steps

Recovery: It's a God Thing
Sunday February 01, 2015

by Teresa McBean

Scripture reading for today: Exodus 19 – 20; Psalm 99

We’re a people who confuse “coming to believe” with learning how to behave. Why? Consider Exodus. Moses gets amazing quality time with God and comes down from that mountaintop experience with a tablet of ten do’s and don’ts. This sounds like behaving to me!

I have spent a huge chunk of my adult life teaching adolescents. Lessons about behaving are the easy ones. Do this; don’t do that. Date only believers, don’t have premarital sex, don’t throw candy in class, don’t drink, don’t drug, and for Pete’s sake–always be nice to your mother. These are the easy lessons. These are the lessons that you can drag out from Exodus 20 and point to with a shaky finger of certainty. Add a tiny bit of over-confidence to the mix, and you can begin interpreting how this behavior is supposed to look in the lives of those you teach. You can tell them that good Christians wear a certain kind of clothes, have a well-groomed appearance (defined by parents), and indicate in both stated and non-verbal communications that the really good kids are the ones who show up on Sundays, raise their hands, and answer the questions asked–without double entendres, without sarcasm, without “attitude.” That’s the easy way. I have “come to believe” that it is not God’s way.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee! Read the ENTIRE book of Exodus. Remember the first three chapters of Genesis. Do we really think that our all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, Creator God thought He could hand us a tablet with ten do’s and don’ts and expect us to behave? Even a middle-aged Bible study teacher of tenth graders knows better than that. There’s more going on here than behaving. God is asking us to believe!

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life.” John 6:40 NIV

More on that eternal life stuff tomorrow.