The 12 Principles :: RESPONSIVENESS



Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 


What is integrity?

“As our recovery deepens, responsibility grows into responsiveness. Spiritual intelligence unfolds into spiritual integrity.  Making amends expands into mending the world.” ~Patrick Carnes

Most addicts have a history of being reactive rather than responsive especially to situations of change. Thankfully at this stage of our recovery we are aware of the effects our decisions and actions have on those around us. We have taken the focus off ourselves and are more interested in helping others.

The one thing in life we can be certain of is change. When we are responsive we adjust quickly, and easily to changing external conditions. Being responsive prevents regret and that starts by doing today what we will be happy with tomorrow.

No matter how bad things may look the outcome may end up being for our good. In the reverse, circumstances may be seemingly be great then the winds of change sweep through with a dramatic change that spins our head around.

The challenge here is to not hold on too tight, being adaptive and spiritually flexible while staying true to our greater life purpose. Rather than leaning in to the situation with an emotional reaction, we can lean back, watch and wait; checking for any positive action needed on our part. If none is necessary we surrender to the moment and wait for change to come again. And it certainly will. 

KEY QUESTION: What is integrity?

in-te-gri-ty:  an undivided or unbroken completeness; moral soundness

When walking in our addictions our moral soundness was severely lacking. This is one thing that is most important to me as I continue the recovery journey. I don’t ever want to hurt the ones I love again. 

A life that exhibits integrity is crucial. There’s no turning back now!

A Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles: Living the Values Behind the Steps by Patrick Carnes ** 

Virtues~n~Vices :: INTEGRITY

Virtue: a valued principle of good moral behavior; a holy habit.
Vice: a practice of wrongdoing, corruption of virtue; an unholy habit.

Integrity: Honesty and reliability in all things; consistency in the face of difficult circumstances. Integrating truth and action with body, mind, spirit and heart.

Hypocrisy: Pretending to have virtues or moral beliefs that one doesn’t actually have.

We get the word Integrity from the Latin adjective integer which means whole, complete, in sound condition. So for our discussion, integrity is wholeness in qualities as honesty, consistency of character.

What does it mean to live with integrity in our modern world?

Some people think they “have integrity” as long as they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they clam to hold. That’s not necessarily a good thing because those values and personal principles may be immoral.

While living in addiction, I insisted on being honest with my kids about my lifestyle so as not to be a hypocrite. I was living consistent with my values and beliefs but it was a life far from integrity!

This month we’ve been working Step 5: Admitting our wrongs to God, ourselves and another human being. We’ve also looked at Anne Paulk’s book Restoring Sexual Identity. Coming clean to another person about your most shameful wrongs and stepping out of an unwanted lifestyle require tremendous Integrity. 

Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in You. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. ~ Psalm 25:21 NIV

We think we can be accepted as long as we try to be what others want us to be. Deep down we want to be different but fear and cowardice stop us. Only with God’s help can we stop pretending, living a self-divided, not knowing who we really are.  

“Integrity is a natural wholeness that opens the door to supernatural holiness.” ~ Donald DeMarco

Once we desire to live a life pleasing to God and not man, we will learn His requirements and strive to live by them. Integrity – being what we say we are – keeps us from claiming to be upright while living as if we don’t know God. 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ~Roman 12:2 NLT

Do you struggle with integrity in certain areas of your life? 

Reach out to God for strength as you watch or listen to Travis Ryan’s video below… 

Be Fearless with Integrity. Watch Travis Ryan

Christian Virtue by Patty Woodmansee
The Heart of Virtue by Donald DeMarco
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Coming in May on Reaching Hurting Women!


Working the Steps: Step 5 
Having taken our moral inventory in April, it’s now time to admit the exact nature of our wrongs to ourselves, God and another person.

This month’s book review:  Restoring Sexual Identity by Anne Paulk  
Do you or someone you know struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction? Anne Paulk answers the most commonly asked questions from both homosexuals desiring change and friends and relatives of women struggling with same sex attraction

Virtues ~n~ Vices :: INTEGRITY  
Admitting wrongs to others is tough. So is standing up to your past and stepping out of an unwanted lifestyle. Let’s talk about what it means to live a life of integrity.

Healing Hurts :: Personal Identity Crisis
Do you find yourself asking, “What is my purpose in life?” Women are dizzy with doubt about who they are and what they’re supposed to do with their life. Let’s work through this tough time of life together.

Are You Hiding Behind Your Baggage?
We all have baggage from our past. But when we hide behind it instead of taking the next step to grow, we limit ourselves, our relationships and our future.

See these articles accented by some beautiful praise and worship music on Reaching Hurting Women in May! 

Photos courtesy