MY RECOVERY WORK THIS YEAR IS FOCUSED ON THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE 12 STEPS, ASKING KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP TO LEARN THESE CORE VALUES AND PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE.
STEP 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
PRINCIPLE 3: Spirituality
KEY QUESTION: Am I love-able to God and others?
In the resource I am using for this study (listed below) Dr. Patrick Carnes discusses the common elements most spiritual traditions include. Whether to ourself or others each of these areas require acts of love.
- Sharing Pain: our pain connects us to the pain of others.
- Serving others: go outside normal comfort zone and help another person.
- Joining forces: in times of weakness reach out for help.
- Making a leap: Even through difficulties keep going forward.
The answer to our key question shows up in how we are processing these steps walking out love.
Am I afraid to share my pain with others?
Am I stepping out of my comfortable circle of friends and helping someone new?
Am I too proud to ask for help when I’m feeling weak?
Am I making progress each day, even if it is a baby step?
Over the last year God brought me a new girl friend. Someone with whom I’ve been able to process many of these areas with. I’m good at serving but not the best at reaching out for help when struggling. This is the area I need to work on most.
It always comes back to loving myself as God does!
A Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles: Living the Values Behind the Steps by Patrick Carnes **
We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. ~ Romans 12:1
PRINCIPLE THREE: (Celebrate Recovery)
Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. ~ Matthew 5:5
There comes a time in our recovery journey when we need to look for help. We no longer can do this work on our own. And like a surgeon, who must go to another doctor for treatment, we can’t operate on ourselves. We need the Great Healer, the only Higher Power ~ Jesus Christ!
In Step Three we’re working through a big decision. We prepare for this decision process by thoroughly working Steps One and Two.
- Look at the unmanageability of our lives.
- Consider our needs, God’s abilities and our future with or without God.
- We contemplate the required changes.
- Decide God is the only one able to manage our lives.
Let’s look at the Celebrate Recovery acrostic that can help us turn our lives over to God:
T ~ TRUST
We put blind trust in many things daily. We trust the chair we’re sitting in to hold us. We trust our car will make it home. We trust the electric switch for light. Why is it so difficult to trust God to take care of us?
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. ~ Romans 10:9
U ~ UNDERSTAND
Relying on our own understanding gets us into many messes. That’s why we need Jesus. After we ask Jesus into our life, we must look to him in all our decisions. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, he will show us how he wants us to live.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
R ~ REPENT
Repentance is making an about face with your life; a complete 180, turning from the life of sin we’ve been leading to living a life with and for God. When we have repented we see the world from God’s perspective instead of our own.
“The time has come,” [Jesus] said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” ~ Mark 1:15
N ~ NEW LIFE
As we take the above three actions; trusting, understanding and repenting our lives are made new in Christ!
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
Some old thought patterns have recently resurfaced in my life. So you aren’t alone, I’m working these steps right along with you. It is my prayer that this column has been of some help for you today.
Please click here to watch / listen to the Road to Recovery theme song for this year.
Celebrate Recovery Bible
Life Recovery Bible
The Twelve Steps for Chirstians
|“Step by step, I’m walking on water to a land no man can see.” Bryan Duncan
Step Three: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.
Because Step 3 is so critical, we must check our progress on the previous steps.
If we haven’t done the work of Step One
and Step Two
we can’t go forward. If we still think we have everything under control and our sanity isn’t a problem, we probably aren’t ready to turn our lives over to God.
To prepare ourselves for Step Three
accept our inability to manage our lives and receive the seeds of faith God planted in our hearts. Having done those things we are ready to turn our life and our will over to God’s loving care.
Just as a building needs a firm foundation, Step Three is central to all of the steps. We need this important cornerstone for an effective, peaceful life in recovery.
Without God in control our lives will be just as they’ve always been… a mess!
With a clear mind we commit ourselves to the decision, surrendering to God and His outcome. The more we learn to trust in the Lord, the more we will trust ourselves and that trust then extends to others. Now free from the bondage of self-will, our negative behaviors fall away; daily routines improve and life begins anew.
With God’s presence in our lives our sense of self improves, we begin to believe we are worthy human beings. We are able to give and receive love again.
I urge you, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–which is your spiritual worship. ~ Romans 12:1
You may want to pray this prayer:
God I humbly offer myself to You, build me and do with me what You want. Remove this bondage of self, so I can do Your will. Give me victory over my difficulties so others will see Your power and Love in my life.
Our theme song for Working the Steps: Step by Step by @Bryan_Duncan
**Excerpts from The Twelve Steps for Christians