Life Recovery Step 9: Make Direct Amends

Life Recovery Step 9: Make Direct AmendsTired of living in the shadow of yesterday’s mistakes? It’s not too late to go back and try to make amends.

One Bible story that teaches it’s never too late to make amends is the story of David and Jonathan—one of the most outstanding examples of friendship in history.

David and Jonathan were the best of friends despite the worst of circumstances. Saul, Jonathan’s father, was one of the most demanding challenges facing them. He ruthlessly hunted David and tried to kill him for years.Yet, Jonathan’s love for David was strong and didn’t diminish. So, Jonathan told him “Don’t ever withdraw your kindness from my household” (1 Samuel 20:14, CSB). As a result, David agreed and promised to show kindness to Jonathan’s family—including his descendants.

But David did not follow through as he had promised. (more…)

Life Recovery Step 8: Be Willing to Make Amends

Life Recovery Step 8: Be Willing to Make AmendsMaking amends is painful. Doing nothing is painful. But nothing is as painful as keeping everything a secret.

In Life Recovery Step 8, it says, “We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Unfortunately, individuals stuck in addiction try to do damage control by trying to hide their addiction and not making amends to those they’ve hurt. Full of shame and self-condemnation, they avoid making amends at all costs because they think it’ll spare themselves—and those they love—from more hurt.

Here are four core shame-filled beliefs that keep a person stuck:

    1. “I am a bad and worthless person.”
    2. “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.”
    3. “My addiction is my greatest need.” (more…)

Life Recovery Step Seven: Ask God to Remove Your Shortcomings

Ask God to Remove Your ShortcomingsIsn’t it humbling to realize that only God is God?

When someone is stuck in addiction, they think they know what is best. But remarkably, God frequently intervenes, humbles them, and shows them that He knows what is best.

Life Recovery Step Six requires one to be “ready to have God remove these defects of character.” So, Step Seven is even more challenging because it involves taking action; it says, “We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.” Without a doubt, Step Seven is hard—it takes relinquishing pride.

In Step Seven, one must ask God to remove the shortcomings they’ve identified and accepted in the previous steps. Any defects removed must be replaced with humility—this step involves a commitment to honesty.

If anyone had a problem with honesty, it was King Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible. (more…)

Life Recovery Step Six: Ready for God to Remove Your Defects?

Ready for God to Remove Your Defects“We were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.” – Life Recovery Step Six

If someone is stuck in addiction and wants to be free finally, what’s the one thing that God requires from them? Humility.

Oswald Chambers, the early twentieth-century preacher and theologian described humility as “the great characteristic of a saint.”

But many people who struggle with unhealthy habits have a hard time with humility. They believe they must do everything perfectly to recover from addiction and stay sober. But this type of perfectionistic thinking can be overwhelming—it makes individuals think they must do everything themselves and do it perfectly, or they will quit altogether. Instead of doing recovery perfectly all by oneself, Step Six requires humility because one must be “ready to have God remove these defects of character.” (more…)

Life Recovery Step Five: Confess Your Shortcomings

Life Recovery Step FiveHas the pain from bad choices, habits, and decisions made life a prison? If so, it’s possible to break free from bondage—confession is the key!

Addictions and unhealthy patterns hold a person back from living a life of freedom that God designed for them to live. But when they see how their actions have hurt others and tell those whom they’ve hurt that they’re sorry, their life will transform for the better. And going through Life Recovery Step Five is the key to a person in recovery experiencing the relief their soul craves.

What is Life Recovery Step Five? Life Recovery Step Five states, “We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” (more…)

Life Recovery Step Four: Make an Inventory

Life Recovery Step FourWhy does the prospect of making an honest personal inventory, as Life Recovery Step Four states, scare most people?

When someone does a personal inventory, there’s an enormous amount of pain involved. Why? Because it’s painful for a person to come to terms with how they’ve harmed themselves and others. So, out of all the 12 Steps, Step Four is often one of the most challenging steps.

Life Recovery Step Four says, “We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

It won’t be easy as a person takes stock of their life. (more…)