It's Not complicated, we simply just need to give into the instructions and stop listening to the contrary messages, especially the contrary messages we think to ourselves. "Everyone else is doing it" or "I need to be around others who will support my recovery."
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 417
It is extremely important to make our awareness of actions which lead to solutions more clear and understand better the destructiveness of our addictions, selfishness, or intimacy avoidance. Thinking about temporary pleasures from acting in the destructive behaviors will set us closer to engaging in them. We must eliminate anticipation of performing the unwanted behaviors.
Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 23:11-12 “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Mark 9:35 “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’” Mark 10:31 “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” 42-45 “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Luke 17:10 “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 23:1 “Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” Romans 5:6-8 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the lord. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God’ with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love.” Philippians 2:4-11 “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The message is clear. Our whole being ought to be in motion toward love and peace, yet we often delude ourselves into thinking it's not possible and cease our efforts. Whatever justification used to reduce our efforts, action, thought, or time toward growing in love and peace with God is sin living in us. We ought to ask, why aren't we growing more with God and make corrections.
Another way to think about this is "less self, more grace" (God's character/spiritual intimacy)
Addictions are formed and enabled through the inward reliance upon our perceived need or desire of what we think they produce. Quitting seems impossible until the addict can convince themselves to suffer being without. Most of the work in recovery, diet, etc. lies within the thoughts we choose to believe. "I need a cigarette" or "I need exercise."
How is our service?
It's as easy as quitting smoking or going on a diet.
Love is the secret ingredient and a necessary one. Everything we do in our service for God has to be done in love for him. Our selfishness will sneak in and poison God's love. We need to watch for that selfishness, fear, dishonesty, and resentment. Below are scripture verses expressing important points about love we need to incorporate into our understanding. We ought to return to these verses regularly. Love is the cornerstone of faith and relationships.
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
If we follow God we will grow in love
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
John 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him
1 Corinthians 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails.
1 John 3:11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another.
James 2:8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
Love corrects wrong
Proverbs 16:6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.
Proverbs 17:9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Psalm 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.
Psalm 86:13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.
Psalm 103:4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
Psalm 130:7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
Isaiah 63:9 In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Hosea 1:7 Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.”
Hosea 11:4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.
Hosea 14:4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.
Luke 7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
Ephesians 4:16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Colossians 2:2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Philemon 1:7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Description of Love/How to love
Romans 12:9 [ Love in Action ] Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Romans 14:15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Romans 15:30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
1 Corinthians 4:21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
1 Corinthians 8:1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
1 Corinthians 12:31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. [ Love Is Indispensable ] And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
2 Corinthians 8:8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
2 Corinthians 6:6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;
2 Corinthians 12:15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?
Galatians 5:13 [ Life by the Spirit ] You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
Ephesians 3:18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
Ephesians 3:19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Philippians 1:9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
Philippians 2:1 [ Imitating Christ’s Humility ] Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
Philippians 2:2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Colossians 1:8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
1 Thessalonians 4:10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 [ Thanksgiving and Prayer ] We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 3:8 [ Suffering for Doing Good ] Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
1 Peter 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
2 Peter 1 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.