The story of the good Samaritan is Jesus’ answer to the rich young ruler’s question, “Who is my neighbour?” But crucially, Jesus changes the question from that of being “who is my neighbour?” to “which one was a neighbour to the man”? One question is about justifying who you do and don’t have to love, and the other is about recognizing the activity of loving like a good neighbour.
In addiction, we often can tempt ourselves with the question, “how much will one more time really matter?” It’s like the serpent saying, “Did God really say that?”
Recovery, powered by Grace, teaches us to live soberly. Using the same style of wisdom that Jesus uses with the rich young ruler, we change the question around. We don’t ask “will this action change much?”, but we ask “how will I act, swiftly, simply and surely, to change this situation, right now!” One question assumes the addiction to be in charge, and the other puts us back in the seat of self-control.