(the above post was sent incomplete)
sponsorship of an individual through 12 steps requires many conversations focusing on discerning and doing God’s will. Is it acceptable to confine those conversations to matters directly affecting sobriety, at least for a while? or does silence equal consent?
sponsorship can be viewed as visitng the sick, or, even more, visiting the prisoner. when does that corporal work give way to the spiritual work of instructing the ignorant, and correcting the sinner?
is it fair to sponsor someone in a 12 step program with the undosclosed intent that someday, if they stay sober long enough, you’ll open conversations about their sinful lifestyle? is it more honest to begin the relationship with this disclosure “I’ll help you work the 12 steps but it should in no way imply my approval of your sinful lifestyle”?
or does one just shut up and try and administer the first aid of AA, driving them to meetings, talking to them on the phone, working with them through the 12 steps?
my personal experience was this: my conversion was ***years ***of sobriety process during which nobody in AA outwardly judged my sinful behavior. (granted, many of them didn’t see it as particularly problematic.) God in His Mercy, allowed me to stay alive long enough, and to suffer the bondage of my sinfulness long enough for a conversion to happen. when i was broken enough, His Holy Spirit convicted me.
is it presumption to conduct myself similarly (withholding judgment), helping wherever i can, waiting for God’s Holy Spirit to convict and heal the sponsee?
mine isn’t a question of hypothetical situations. instead, i’ve begun sponsoring a profoundly disordered indivdual. she has been struggling with sobriety for many years and has failed. she’s recently hit an all-time new low for her. as a result, she’s become very willing to work for sobriety and has opened up about astonishing childhood abuse. (i’ve known her for a long time. this communicative, vulnerable behavior is very new for her and i believee every word of it.)
i’ve prayed a lot about her. i get the strong sense that God wants me to ***love ***her. how to do that in a way most pleasing to God-- i’m confused.