Sometimes, when we are in the thick of a battle, we look for comrades. People who are going through the same battle to commiserate with us, to keep us company, or to just be a presence. Sometimes, even, to measure our progress against, especially if we think we might be doing a little better than they are.
In recovery, we are supposed to be in fellowship. That’s why I attend meetings, read literature and meet with people one on one. Because we do this together.
But I must be on my guard for the seamy underbelly of fellowship, that is comparison. That seeks to measure my progress against how well you are doing, if you are following “the rules” as well as I am. This looks to elevate me in a way that the program, or the church body in general was never designed to do.
The Big Book speaks often of keeping my side of the street clean. It says nothing of policing your side of the street. The bible says to take the log out of my own eye so that I might see to help my brother with the speck in his…and so forth. None of it talks about sticking my face in someone’s business and controlling their recovery process.
Yet for those of us with codependency and control issues, that is precisely what we struggle with. There is a right way, a proscribed way, a way Proverbs 14:12 says, that seems right to someone, but leads to death. Could be a physical death, or possibly the death of a friendship, trust, or a falling out.
The only comparisons to be made in recovery are the ones we make in our own walk. Are we doing better than yesterday, last week, last year? If not, why not? These are profitable areas to pursue comparison. Let God handle your brother or sister’s recovery areas. If you are so gravely concerned, pray for that person, or ask them how you can pray for them.
Letting go of our need to control or look in someone else’s backyard just may free up the time and space we need to take care of our own issues that God is looking help us with, if we are ready to get serious.
Much love, always.