IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE aRE WORKING THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY THAT ARE BASED ON The BEATITUDES Along with THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY AS THEY ALIGN WITH THE MONTHLY CALENDAR.
STEP SIX: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”~ James 4:10
PRINCIPLE FIVE (Celebrate Recovery): Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” ~ Matthew 5:6
In the previous steps, as we began removing the addictions and dependencies from our life, we came face to face with our deeper character defects and discovered a lot of brokenness inside. Facing our brokenness can be overwhelming and painful. But if we’ve made it this far we must be ready for God to change us.
Thankfully God doesn’t measure us on how hard we work. But rather on the condition of our heart. He wants us to mourn over our sins and admit our brokenness. When we bring our brokenness to Him, He promises to forgive us, comfort us and cleanse us. Along with this cleansing God will satisfy our emotional hunger and help us overcome our character defects.
To go forward we must die to our old coping mechanisms. These comfortable “friends” who carried us in troubled times can no longer be a part of our life. But with the loss of anything familiar they need a proper burial. We must turn away from our defective ways, cover the shame with God’s love and allow ourselves time to mourn the loss.
I can look back with fond memories knowing my defects are no longer my friends.
A difficult part of working Step 6 is not knowing who we will be when our defects are gone. They may have caused a lot of pain and suffering in the past, but at least this defective person is familiar.
Who will we be without our character defects?
Will our friends and loved ones still accept us when we become this new person?
The bigger question we need to ask is: “Are we really willing for God to remove all our addictions and dependencies?” The truth is we can’t even become willing without God’s help!
We must be honest with ourselves and realize we may never be “entirely” ready for God to remove our defects of character. What’s important is that we stay close to God and keep moving in the right direction. As we do we will get as close to being ready as possible. When we do our part, God will meet us there and take us the rest of the way.
In fact, by dying on the cross, Jesus met us more than half way! He went all the way for our faults, failures and addictions. It helps me to visualize my specific areas of weakness nailed on the cross with Christ.
It is only on the Cross of Christ that our defects of character can be removed.
Dear God, thank you for bringing me this far on my recovery journey. I ask for Your help to make me entirely ready to change all my character defects. Give me the strength to deal with all I have turned over to you. Allow me to accept these changes you are making in my life. Help me be the person You want me to be. In Jesus Christ’s name… Amen
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways, test them, and return to the Lord. ~ Lamentations 3:40
PRINCIPLE FOUR of Celebrate Recovery:
Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trust.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. ~ Matthew 5:8
Step Four begins the growth steps of our recovery journey. We are now ready to come clean, to dig into the areas of our life where we have been blinded by denial. For our moral inventory it’s very important that we stay balanced. We should make a list of our not only our weaknesses but also our strengths.
Grab a pen and paper as we follow Celebrate Recovery’ssuggestions for processing our Spiritual Inventory. Let’s start examining areas of our life:
Who has hurt you? Who have you hurt? Are you seeking revenge / holding grudges?
What are your priorities? What is good / bad about them? Who do they affect and how?
Are you grateful, complaining, sarcastic, anxious, fearful? Do you blow up easily?
Are there times you have been dishonest? Pretended to be something you aren’t?
How do your guard your mind? Do you fill it with unhealthy movies, books or magazines?
How have you treated your body? What habits or physical activities do you have?
How do you treat family members? What family secret are you denying?
Have you been faithful to church in the past? Are you discouraging your family from church?
There is much more that we can talk about when it comes to our inventory. It’s my desire here to provide a jump start for your recovery. Please know this column isn’t designed to take the place of a 12 Step program. If you aren’t already attending a group I encourage you to go to the Celebrate Recovery website: www.celebraterecovery.com to find a group in your area.
Also, if you don’t have an accountability partner yet, attending a CR group will help you to find someone to help you work through your inventory list. Remember, the road to recovery is not designed to be traveled alone!
I pray God will reveal just what you need to see as your courageously take this step. Blessings… Tamara
Click here to watch / listen to our Road to Recovery theme song: The Serenity Prayer.
Resources: Celebrate Recovery Leader’s Guide Celebrate Recovery Bible The Twelve Steps for Christians Life Recovery Bible
STEP THREE: 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.
Resources: Celebrate Recovery Bible Life Recovery Bible The Twelve Steps for Chirstians