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12 Step Recovery Programs

Posted on: July 25, 2008 7:57 pm
 
The 12 Step Recovery Programs have been around for a long time and have helped countless numbers of people deal with a wide variety of addictions, obsessive/compulsuve behaviors, and life problems.  I will present a Bible-based 12 Step program, but understand that secular programs are useful and successful, and I have participated in both.  I am presenting one option for those who want to undertake the challenge of recovery.
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Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2008 8:20 pm
 

12 Step Recovery Programs

OTHER CHRISTIAN PROGRAM APPROACHES TO THE 12 STEPS

1) We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors. That our lives had become unmanageable.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18)

2) Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives 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)

4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:40)

5) Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16a)

6)  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)

7) Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

9) Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)

11) 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.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Colossians 3:16a)

12) Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)


STEP 1
We admitted we were sinful--that our lives had become pursuant of our sins.
Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory.
(Romans 3:23)
God is light. There is no darkness in Him at all. Suppose we say that we share life with God but still walk in the darkness. Then we are lying.
We are not living by the truth. (1 John 1:5-6)

STEP 2
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to spiritual thinking.
So if the Son of Man sets you free, you will really be free. (John 8:36)

STEP 3
Made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God as we understood Him.
If you love me, you will obey what I command.  (John 14:15)

STEP 4
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
People have no excuse for what they do. They Knew God. But they didn't honor Him as God. They didn't thank him. Their thinking became worthless. Their foolish hearts became dark. They claimed to be wise. But they made fools of themselves....So God let them go. He allowed them to do what their sinful hearts wanted to. They chose a lie instead of God's truth. They worshiped and served created things. They didn't worship the Creator. (Romans 1:20-25)

STEP
Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs, emotions, and negative feelings.
Blessed is the one whose lawless acts are forgiven. His sins have been taken away. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord never counts against him. (Psalm 32:1-2)

STEP 6
Became entirely ready to have Him remove these defects of character and negative emotions.
You have sent many bitter troubles my way. But you will give me new life. Even if I'm almost in the grave, you will bring me back.
(Psalm 71:20)

STEP 7
Humbly asked Him to remove these shortcomings and negative emotions.
Turn to me and show me your favor. I am lonely and hurting. The troubles of my heart have increased. Set me free from my great pain.
(Psalm 25:16-17)

STEP 8
Made a list of all the people we have harmed and became willing to make amends to them all, also we make a list of all the people we were grateful for and became willing to tell them so.
Don't pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can. My friends, don't try to get even. Leave room for God to show His anger. It is written, "I am the One who judges people.
I will pay them back," says the Lord. Do just the opposite. Scripture says, "If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. By doing these things, you will pile up burning coals on their heads." Don't let evil overcome you. Overcome evil by doing good. (Romans 12:17-21)

STEP 9
Made amends to those people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them, or other.  Made "Gratitude Visits" to those people wherever possible, or wrote "Gratitude Letters" to those people we loved or were grateful for.
" So don't worry. Don't say, ' what will we eat? Or, 'what will we drink?' Or, 'what will we wear?' People who are ungodly run after all of those things. Your Father who is in heaven knows that you need them. But put God's Kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do.
Then all of those things will also be given to you. So don't worry about tommorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:31-34)

STEP 10
Continued to take moral personal inventory, and when we were wrong or grateful, promptly admitted it.
The One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed. (Philippians 1:6)

STEP 11
Sought through prayer and meditation, to improve our conscience contact with God as we understood Him.
I am thirsty for the living God. When can I go meet with Him? (Psalm 42:2)

STEP 12
Having had a spirtual awakening as a result of these steps, we carried the message to others, prayed for others, and we practiced these principals in all our affairs.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has anointed me to tell the good news to poor people. He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners. He has sent me so that the blind will see again. He wants me to free those who are beaten down. And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set His people free." Jesus sat down. The eyes of everyone were on Him. And then He said, "Today this passage of Scripture is coming true as you listen." (Luke 4:14-21)




Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2008 8:14 pm
 

12 Step Recovery Programs

THE BIBLE-BASED 12 STEPS

12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.

2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.

4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6.  Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7.  Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

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

10.  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11.  Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12.  Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 
12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous With Biblical References Added

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (or any obsessive/compulsive behavior or addiction) and that our lives had become unmanageable.
  "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." (Romans 7:18) 

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves (the God of the Bible) could restore us to sanity.
"... my grace is sufficient for you, for my POWER is made perfect in weakness."
(2 Corinthians 12:9)  
"..for it God Who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose.." (Phil. 2:13)

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of GOD as we understood Him (the God of the Bible as taught in the scriptures).
  "... If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
(Luke 9:23)

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." (Lamentations 3:40)

5. Admitted to GOD (confessed our sins and weaknesses to the God of the Bible), to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."
(James 5:16)

6. Were entirely ready to have GOD remove all these defects of character.
 "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land." (Isaiah 1:19)

7. Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
 "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." (James 4:10)

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." (Matthew 5:23, 24)

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
"Give and it shall be given you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38)

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it (confessed it to God and to any party we injured).
 "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith GOD has given you." (Romans 12:3)

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with GOD as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will, and the power to carry that out.
 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
(Psalm 19:14)
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..." (Col. 3:16)

12. Having had a spiritual awakening (being born again through Jesus Christ our Savior) as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics (or anyone suffering with obsessive/compulsive behaviors or addictions), and practice these principles in all our affairs.
 "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:1-2)

 




Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2008 8:09 pm
 

12 Step Recovery Programs

Addiction Treatment:  Seven Steps to a Powerful Support Network

Have you ever listened to the most successful athletes in the world accepting an award for outstanding achievement?  They always thank their coach, teammates, trainers, God, doctors and family! Their success was due to a total team effort. If the most successful athletes in the world need support, do you think it is possible to recover from addiction all by yourself?
 
If you are recovering from addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex it is imperative to develop a strong support network.
 
A support network may consists of (but is not limited to) your health professionals, sponsor, family members, 12 step group and spiritual advisor. Here are 7 tips to get you started on your healing journey.

1.  Make sure your health professionals are knowledgeable about addictions
Is your primary care provider trained in addiction medicine? Does he treat many people for addiction related health concerns? Unfortunately it is still quite common for a well intentioned practitioner to prescribe mood altering chemicals and narcotics to an addicted person. Remember that there are usually several other effective and safer treatment options. Ask your doctor how he will treat you if you present with severe pain, anxiety and other such conditions.

2. Make sure family members are supportive but not enabling
It is crucial that your family understands and supports your aftercare plan. An aftercare plan is a list of tasks performed on a daily basis to help you recover from your addiction. Appropriate family support includes anything that will help you follow your aftercare plan. Your family should encourage you to attend your meetings, call your sponsor, eat healthy and exercise. However, it is not their responsibility to cover up for your mistakes, omissions, or absence from meetings. They have every right to and should point out and call you on inappropriate behavior. Remember that your goal is to develop a new life with healthy practices to replace your old addictive behaviors.

3.  Choose your sponsor carefully
A good sponsor is worth his or her weight in gold. You are going to have many low points and dilemmas in your early recovery. There is no way around it. A good sponsor will help you though these rough periods by drawing upon the experiences of his own recovery. How long has your sponsor been addiction free? Does he lead a healthy and balanced life? Are you compatible? Both the sponsor and sponsee should have a clear understanding of what they expect from each other right from the beginning.
 
There is an old saying from an AA sponsor that says it all.
 "Don’t take that 1st drink and I promise I’ll stay with you to h*!! and back. But don’t bother calling me when your drunk and you can go to h*!! alone."

4.  Try several support group meetings
Twelve step meetings and support group meetings range in value from poor to excellent. The only way you can truly find out is by attending and experiencing a wide array of meetings. Twelve step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and Alanon, Naranon, and Alateen for those whose lives have been effected by substance abusers, have various formats and are usually run by a volunteer chairperson. It is important that you consider such factors as meeting size, time and location.
 
However, it is more important to evaluate how the meeting 'feels.' Was there an opportunity for you to share your comments and concerns? Was there good chemistry? Did you feel connected? Was there adequate time to socialize before and after the meeting? Finding the right support group meetings is essential in developing a strong support network.

5.  Have patience and tolerance
Remember that you are embarking upon a very long and difficult journey. Recovery from addiction is not easy and requires tremendous patience and tolerance. Attempt to be gentle with yourself and with your friends in recovery. The true joy of recovery is in the fellowship and camaraderie. Be honest, be a friend and be committed to your recovery. Nobody ever said it would be easy.

6.  Seek out those who are successful in their own addiction recovery
Always be respectful of each person in your recovery circle, but try to hang around with the winners. Who is talking the talk and walking the walk? Find out what the winners do to keep addiction free. They will be more than happy to share their successes and their challenges.

7.  You cannot do it on your own
It is true that you are 100% responsible for your own recovery. However, it is absolutely futile to attempt to recover on your own.  Recovering from addiction is a monumental task that requires time, persistence, and determination.  Success does not come overnight but by taking small steps forward on a daily basis. Remember that you do not have to do it alone. Help is just a phone call or a meeting away. Use your resources wisely and develop a solid Support network.

 




Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2008 8:04 pm
 

12 Step Recovery Programs

PREPARING FOR A SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY

Understanding the 12 Step Program

1. Sponsors
The program, if worked properly, requires new members who seek recovery, regardless of from what, to find a "sponsor"--a person with several years of consistent recovery from the same problem a new member seeks to address.  In cities where there may be more new members seeking recovery than there are available sponsors, a sponsor's time in successful recovery may be 2 years or more.  The sponsor must be fully familiar with "The Big Book" and "The Twelve Steps and Traditions," which teach principles consistent with the Bible.

A Christian seeking recovery might do well to seek a Christian sponsor so that the Bible can be directly included in the recovery process. The sponsor is no more perfect than any other human; however, the sponsor should be equipped to speak with the new member every day, to help in performing the steps, to set an example for a new member to aspire to, and to teach from "The Big Book" and from "The Twelve Steps and Traditions" (and preferably to Christians, from the Bible passages).

The sponsor is not elevated above God, but is a servant of God in a Christian context, just as anyone who serves the Lord would be.

It is also important that the new member choose a sponsor of the same sex, so that "trolling meetings" in hope of finding a new 'mate' is avoided. There is also a special perspective that a man can bring to men's recovery and problems as well as a female sponsor can bring to women in recovery.

2. Higher Power
This process has been used successfully for many years. Christians in recovery have a special opportunity, after working the program successfully for a time, to share openly in secular meetings what Jesus is doing in their lives. Other participants are free to name their "higher power" from another religious teaching or other source.  "The Twelve Steps and Traditions" makes it clear that, in a meeting, no one is permitted to tell another who or what that "higher power" must be.  Christians cannot tell others that God MUST be the higher power of others; on the other hand, nonbelievers are not free to tell a Christian in recovery that he/she cannot name God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit when he refers to his/her own higher power.

Praise to our Father in heaven for working in this venue to reach out to the needy and lift them up.  It would benefit most of us to work the 12 step programs in a Biblical way regardless of what our life situation is.  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:28

3. Working the Program
I will post the entire 12 steps first, but I will present Bible verses, some with a study, for each individual step after that.   I would recommend that every one of us read and really perform the steps--to 'work the program.' Some people have dealt with many different challenges through this method. 

You may find yourself starting step 1 and working to step 2 and 3 and 4 and then realizing you want to back up to refine your work on earlier steps. It is fine to back up when you feel the need to. Don't expect to work all 12 steps without repetition, without going back to earlier steps to refine your work, and over a lifetime. It's a process, not an event.

4. Application of the Twelve Steps
This material originated as Alcoholics Anonymous and grew to cover very many life decisions and issues (Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, etc.) and some groups returned to the original Christian roots.  To specifically deal with the Christian perspective and the need for help with any problem, I put in parentheses and italicized any adjustments I would make in today's 12 steps in order to include the God of the Bible and all people in need regardless of the substance or habit each person is trying to overcome.




Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2008 8:00 pm
 

12 Step Recovery Programs

INTRODUCTION

The original 12 step programs by Bill White were based on Biblical principle. "The Big Book" and "The 12 Steps and Traditions" are recovery books written by men but based on the Bible. The actual meetings today have been modified so that the recovery principles can be applied to people of any faith or of no religious belief; that does not change the fact that the Bible is the basis of the program and has not been compromised.

There are many Christian 12 step programs set up today to deal with the scriptures that support the steps. We study those.  I will post some scripture that support any of  the 12 steps and discuss any strategies used personally or by others to overcome whatever challenges we face.

Summary and Further Resources

A journey through our darkest places feels painful and scary, but it must be done. Psalm 51 tells of David going through such a search. In verse 4 David says, "You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom." The promise of God is to be with us always. Let us learn to put our trust in Him.
 
Almost all of the sites listed below are free, unless noted, and almost all offer free email newsletters or daily devotionals on Bible based recovery and/or pain management.  I have found some helpful information and some information that was less helpful in all resources.  Investigate and choose for yourself anything your find helpful.


I used this website for a variety of studies, but they have a series on Recovery from many issues; good site


One of the first Bible based recovery programs; has scripture for 12 steps and recovery resource links.  Great site


free 14 day trial membership, $15 a month membership, $135 a year membership to support extensive links and availability of professional/clergy counselors for members in need


Recovery talk and music radio if your computer can support audio


Comprehensive list of recovery groups and resources




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