12 Steps of Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered program that helps people struggling with any type of addiction. Drugs, alcohol, and pornography are just a few of the things it can help you recover from. It was founded in the early 1990's and now counts more than 30,000 churches among its members.
The principles of Celebrate Recovery are based on the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are group meetings, sponsors to help you through the hard times, and 12 steps to follow.
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable
This is the core of Celebrate Recovery. The fact that we are unable to stop from reaching out for our addictions. By admitting that we have no control we are able to accept another's help.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
The second step of the program is an admission that there is a higher power in the world that is Jesus Christ. It allows us to recognize that we can be helped by one who is almighty.
3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God
Surrendering our will and life to the care of God. This combines the first two steps and finally puts us in a state of true submission and penitence towards God. It also allows many people the strength to resist their addictions through the grace and power of God.
The decision to turn over control of our lives to the Lord shows that we have finally become ready to change.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
It's impossible to fully move on from our addictions without first discovering what about ourselves created them. Look inwards and discover all the aspects of ourselves that are displeasing to the Lord. Figure out what about our personalities and choices go against the teachings of God.
By discovering exactly what is wrong deep within we can finally move forward with the knowledge of what needs to change.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
This is a central part of recovery. Tallying up all the things we have done that hurt ourselves and others. This allows us to truly and deeply recognize the damage our choices have caused. It also lets us discover what we need to beseech the Lord to help us with.
Knowledge of ourselves and the Lord becomes the power to resist.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
We have come to deeply understand all the parts of ourselves that cause us to seek our addictions and are ready for the Lord to cleanse us of them. This requires that the previous five steps be followed. You must go into this with the knowledge of the Lord's power and mercy as well as your own faults.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings
In step 7 we take the willingness of step 6 and finally ask the Lord to help us. We admit our wrongs, tell him our knowledge of our failings and beg him for the strength and serenity to accept them.
By asking for help we fully accept that we are unable to change these things on our own.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all
Listing out everyone our addiction has harmed is very painful. It forces us to recognize the things we have done while using and the friendships and relationships our addictions have damaged.
Being forced to confront the damage addiction has caused is one of the greatest ways a recovering addict can motivate themselves to seek help.
9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
This is an important part of true contrition. Simply recognizing you have caused harm without the willingness to make amends is not recovery. We must be able to admit that what we have done is wrong and seek out the people we harmed. Even if it is only to offer an apology, it is important.
10. We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it
If we simply admit to our past wrongs without continuing to monitor our actions it becomes very easy to slip. Constant vigilance is needed to prevent old habits and ways of thinking from sneaking back in.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out
Here we must earnestly seek out the word of God and try to discover what he has planned for us. By admitting that we are powerless without the Lord we allow him to use us as an instrument of his will.
12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs
Once we ourselves have experienced the light and forgiveness of the Lord it is important to try and help others. The principles of Celebrate Recovery encourage volunteer work, becoming a sponsor, and telling your story.
The First Step is Always the Hardest
For many people struggling with addiction it is the first step, admitting they are powerless, that takes the most effort. Until they are ready to admit that they need help they cannot receive it. The 12 steps of Celebrate Recovery give a framework to follow after that first step.
If you know someone struggling with addiction or ready to begin treatment, use this guide to help them begin their journey to sobriety.