How to Repair Your Soul
- Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Live in community. Find a safe and supportive community of believers to continue your spiritual rebuilding work. Look for people who protect confidentiality instead of gossiping, identify with what you’re going through without giving unwanted advice, take responsibility rather than blaming, share leadership instead of forcing decisions on others, and express grace rather than judgment. Consider joining a support group or finding someone you trust to meet with you regularly to encourage you in your spiritual growth.
Pass your blessings on to others. Thank God for the love and grace you’re experiencing in your life by sharing love and grace with other people. Forgive the people who hurt you by asking God to help you see their brokenness and need for grace, and to empower you to extend grace to them just as God has given it to you. Serve other people in healthy ways – not by trying to earn God’s love or make yourself feel important through service, but by simply responding when God calls you to serve, as a way of thanking Him for His love.
Adapted from Soul Repair: Rebuilding Your Spiritual Life, copyright 2008 by Jeff VanVonderen, Dale Ryan, and Juanita Ryan. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., www.ivpress.com.
Jeff VanVonderen is a speaker and consultant in the areas of addiction, family systems and recovery. He is one of the featured interventionists on the Arts & Entertainment Network show Intervention. He is the author of Good News for the Chemically Dependent, Families Where Grace Is in Place, When God’s People Let You Down, Tired of Trying to Measure Up and The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.
Dale Ryan is CEO of Christian Recovery International. He is also an assistant professor of recovery ministry and director of the Fuller Institute for Recovery Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has consulted with ministries in several countries who are seeking to develop support groups for alcoholics and addicts and their families. He is a coauthor of The Twelve Steps: A Spiritual Kindergarten, Rooted in God’s Love and Bible study guides published by InterVarsity Press.
Juanita Ryan is a clinical nurse specialist with an M.S.N. in psychiatric mental health nursing. She has taught mental health nursing at Bethel University, Rio Hondo Community College and Biola University. She is currently a therapist in private practice at Brea Family Counseling Center in Brea, California. She is the coauthor of The Twelve Steps: A Spiritual Kindergarten and the author or coauthor of over thirty InterVarsity Press Bible studies.
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