One single step toward recovery from addiction turned into 17 years sober for artist Chad Mattson, lead singer in Christian group, Unspoken.
Mattson told American Songwriter his story that inspired the band’s upcoming single release titled “One Step,” as part of their deluxe album release “Reason,” dropping July 24, 2020.
His early 20’s spent in drug culture, Mattson recounted the day he took that small step toward giving His life back to God, and to recovery, when he chose to stay sober for almost an entire day in order to attend a Bible study.
“Seventeen years of sobriety happened because I took one step towards God that night in going to that Bible study,” Mattson said. “What I really want the listener to know is that the grace of God is so big that no matter how ridiculous your first step or whatever step you’re about to take towards God is, He meets us right there.”
Mattson explained that after he attended the Bible study that night, he got high, and thus some, when hearing his story may not understand the significance of that first step.
But although the step may seem small, even insignificant, Mattson said it was that active choice, to sacrifice even part of one day to work toward sobriety, that generated a series of events now leading to 17 years of sobriety, and the opportunity to minister directly to the community he was once a part of, through music.
“I dared to give Him [God] part of a day,” Mattson said. “I’m so blown away that God would honor that one step I took towards Him.”
We may not know what that first step is, but there’s nothing too small for God to work through, Mattson emphasized.
“It’s something I had lived,” Mattson noted. “Transparency in music can be such a blessing to people—giving them permission to be honest with themselves and with others. We really have a lot of love for the recovery community.”
Mattson explained the music he creates with “Unspoken” often attests to the work that God is doing in his own life, currently, as well as telling the stories of past experiences.
“Our genre is Christian music and so we really believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life,” Mattson noted. “When we’re lost, He’s the way, when we’re confused and don’t know what to believe He’s truth and if you’re living and breathing Jesus is life. We can only attest that that’s what we believe and that’s what we know to be true in our lives as well.”
Every album Unspoken has released features at least one recovery themed song, according to Mattson. The response they have seen to those songs has been extremely encouraging, as individuals have expressed their own connections to those in recovery, or dealing with recovery themselves.
It’s the conversations and relationships that happen on account of the music that makes the process meaningful, Mattson explained. The universal language of music enables communication that is lasting, and powerful, focused on aspects of life vital to each individual.
“We’re able to communicate things in a way that people Spirits and souls and minds can receive it a little easier,” Mattson said. “The job of every Christian artist is to tell the truth about what we know about God to others. We know that it’s not always going to be received well, but music gives us that ability to make it a little easier.”