When He was insulted, He returned no insult; when He suffered, He did not threaten

A section of Scripture from last night’s Evening Prayer offers an excellent example on humble and sober living.

1 Peter 2 : 21-24;

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.

Many times in our drinking past we dove into our bottle after an insult, either real or imagined. When we suffered, either from something done to us by others or by a self-inflicted wound, we drank.

As sober alcoholics and users we cannot react that way. We have to adopt a more humble manner of living and thinking.

Jesus knew that there is only one judge, God. Rather than taking matters into His own hands and lashing back at His accusers and dying anyway, He meekly accepted their attacks and fulfilled His mission on Earth.

This is not to say that we should be doormats in sobriety and allow injustices to be perpetrated against us.

In the chapter entitled “Acceptance was the Answer” in AA’s “Big Book” (aka Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, 2001; Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. New York), the author declares on page 420:

Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations. The higher my expectations … the lower is my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations. But them my “rights” try to move in, and they too can force my serenity level down. I have to discard my “rights,” as well as my expectations, by asking myself, “How important is it, really? How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety?…

So by asking the question: “How important is it, really? How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety?” we can perhaps justify certain situations when we have to defend our “rights”, bearing in mind the cost. The Serenity Prayer can offer guidance:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

Anyway, some stuff to think about as we go about our day.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"