After embarking on the journey of Life Recovery and completing Steps One through Eleven, the last step is Step Twelve. Step Twelve of Life Recovery says, “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we have tried to carry this message to others, and to follow these principles in everything we do.”
To “carry this message to others” and to help them get off the wrong path and onto the right one, there are four important qualities one must have.
First, it takes courage. Whether at a meeting or in everyday life, God will provide many opportunities to share the message of Life Recovery. Find a Life Recovery Group, participate in the weekly meetings, invite others to attend, mentor someone, or even lead a Life Recovery Group. Learn how to start a Life Recovery Group.
Secondly, it takes gentleness. Galatians 6:1 (NLT) explains: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”
The only person capable of guiding others from the wrong path to the right one is one who is gentle enough to do so. It’s easy for anyone to get stuck on this perilous path by choosing to numb their painful feelings and past traumas with addictions and unhealthy habits. When confronting someone stuck in their shortcomings, be gentle—not judgmental.
Third, it takes humility. People should be restored, not destroyed. Bringing others back to God is the purpose of restoring them. Despite this, most individuals rarely demonstrate humility when they try to restore someone. Why? In some cases, people are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, while in other cases, they are too harsh or motivated by selfish interests. To maintain a healthy balance, here are some questions to think about:
- “Am I doing this to help others or to promote myself?”
- “Do I sound inspiring or condemning?”
- “Am I afraid of hurting their feelings if I tell them the truth, or am I able to speak the truth in love?”
Fourth, it takes accountability. In a safe relationship, each person is held accountable—if a setback happens, it’s easy to get back on track. Therefore, accountability helps to carry the message of Life Recovery. Like a person who looks into a mirror and fixes whatever needs to be fixed, someone who is held accountable for their actions will always work toward becoming a better person.
Finally, even after going through all the Twelve Steps, recovery is never truly finished. It takes a lifetime of having courage, gentleness, humility, and accountability to carry the message of recovery to others for life.
by Steve Arterburn