Along the same lines as triggers are what are often called ‘risky choices’. Risky choices are decisions that pose a strong likelihood of lead to triggers or even a return to abusing alcohol or other drugs. Some examples of risky choices are such things as choosing a route to the store that you know will take you past a favorite bar or going to a party with friends that you used to use with. Risky choices put you in or near places or situations that pose a likelihood to returning to the use of alcohol or other drugs.
Often, these risky choices are made without any real foresight. You might be going to a meeting of some kind and ‘just happen’ to drive through the area of town where you used to purchase drugs. You might be at the grocery store and ‘just happen’ to walk through the area of the store where the alcohol is displayed. You might be trying to call a friend and instead you dial the number of a former drug supplier.
Other times, people believe that they have enough time in recovery that they can now handle some temptations. An alcoholic in recovery for several months might think he can handle going to the bar “just to see his old friends.’ A drug user in recovery might think he has enough clean time that he can go to a party where he knows some of his old friends will be using drugs. These risky decisions can place you in serious danger of a relapse, a return to your old behavior.
Let’s be clear. The person making this kind of risky decision doesn’t really have any real intention of returning to their old behavior of abusing alcohol or other drugs. It is more a matter of setting themselves up, of laying the groundwork for a return to their former behavior. It is more something that they allow to happen, rather than something they want to happen. This is true, at lease, on the conscious level. Unconsciously, however, they may be planning to ‘accidently’ return to their old behavior.
While He was always willing to forgive sinners, Jesus also challenged them to change their behavior. The woman caught in the act of adultery, for example, was told that Jesus did not condemn her. He also told her that she must change her behavior and, as He said, “Sin no more.” He says the same to us. He does not condemn us, but he does expect us change our lives. He expects us to avoid whatever leads us to sin.