Is your journey of Life Recovery going well? Or, are you overwhelmed at the path set before you of getting through all of the 12 Steps? If so, you are not alone. Whether it’s our first time in recovery or we’re getting back into it after a long break, the 12 Steps can seem intimidating.
Another way to look at the 12 Steps of Life Recovery is to see it as a 3-fold path—or, that there are three commitments we need to make. In other words, the 12 Steps call us to make a commitment to God, ourselves, and others.
Commitment to God
“Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable.”–Romans 12:1
Steps 1-3 focus on developing our relationship with God. All of our efforts to control our lives have ended in futility. God, through Jesus Christ, is our Higher Power.
It’s in Step 3 that we’re led to make a life-transforming decision: We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God. What does this look like? We surrender our will over to God, and we obey Him.
Commitment to Ourselves
“Let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.”–Lamentations 3:40
Steps 4-7 enable us to understand ourselves better. Step 4 tells us: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. A moral inventory is a list of the areas that we struggle with. In what ways have our attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs negatively impacted us? By being honest with ourselves about ourselves, we are ready for God to work in our lives.
Commitment to Others
“If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar and…someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” –Matthew 5:23
Steps 8-9 equip us with the tools to make things right in our relationships with others. In Step 9, we are directed to make amends: We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
It may be necessary to seek guidance from a licensed counselor. A counselor can help us determine how—or if—we can contact someone we’ve offended. Once we have made amends with others, we will experience freedom in our lives.
The 3-fold Path of Life Recovery gives us an outline for us to follow in our recovery journey; we need to: (1) turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God, (2) make a fearless moral inventory of ourselves, (3) and make amends with others that we’ve hurt. The rest of the 12-Steps, Steps 10-12, are a review of Steps 1-9.