In this fallen world, many Christians have struggles they are too embarrassed to share with others – especially other Christians.
Whether you struggle from food addiction or alcoholism, sex addiction or codependency, anger or anxiety, Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a safe place to get real.
It is here you can come as you are and leave the shame behind – and learn how Jesus truly is the only one who can restore your soul. Read on to learn how the program works.
Instead of keeping your sin and pain in secret, you’ll learn how to walk through the steps of your recovery journey, at your own pace, and follow a Biblical model of dealing with the pain.
Oftentimes many people carry around deep pain from their childhood – such as being abandoned by a parent or growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home.
Without realizing it, many of us carry these childhood wounds into adulthood where they continue to cause chaos and pain in our lives.
If not dealt with, the wounds from our past often cause us to fall into our own sinful patterns as adults – leaving us stuck and in bondage.
But Jesus didn’t die on the cross to keep us trapped in our sin – He died and rose from the grave to set us free.
But many people aren’t sure where to start working through their childhood wounds and current struggles – which is why CR is a fantastic ministry for Christians to consider.
To start, CR is not a place where others will fix you – nor tell you what to do.
It’s not a counseling service.
But it is a place to gather with other believers and experience strength and hope.
A typical CR meeting consists of worship songs, testimonies from other believers who have overcome their struggles or share similar struggles, and the chance (if you’d like) to share what’s on your heart or process what you’ve learned that night.
Similar to the more well-known program Alcoholics Anonymous, CR has a 12-step model they follow, with a Bible verse for each step.
Here are the 12 Steps in Celebrate Recovery and their corresponding Bible verse:
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. We 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. 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
4. We 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. We 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. 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
7. We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
8. We 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. We 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. We continue 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. We 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 try 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 them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1
The beautiful thing is, each person works through the program at their own pace. There is no timeline, performance evaluation, or shame for “taking too long.”
Some people spend years on Step 1 trying to truly internalize that they are powerless.
Others who had previously walked away from God have a hard time turning their lives fully back over to Him, so they linger on Step 3.
Many get caught up when taking an inventory of their life – which lists both good and bad qualities, and find it hard to work through Step 4.
But for those who stay the course and work the program – the healing that comes from becoming more emotionally healthy is incredible.
Mike shared a piece of his testimony on how God used CR to save his life.
Celebrate Recovery reported:
“I was an only child to parents who divorced when I was 10. I lived with my alcoholic father from then until I was 16 that led to many unsupervised hours hanging with the wrong crowd. I always knew my father loved me, even though he couldn’t say it. The only way he knew how to show his love was through enablement, constantly bailing me out of jail.
I became addicted to heroin at 13 and later on to meth, and spent the next 40 years chained to a life of drugs, motorcycle gangs, crime, prison time and broken relationships.
At 52 I found myself staring down the end of my 44 magnum all alone, broken, and ready to end this life of hopelessness and misery when God stepped in and steered me to a Christian rehab center which ultimately introduced me to Celebrate Recovery.
After rehab was completed I returned home, found a local Celebrate Recovery where I found a forever family that loved me just like I was with no condemnation about my past. It was here that I learned the tools I needed to live a successful recovery.
On Dec 15, 2018 I took my 13 yr CR sobriety chip. CR has become my passion, not only for my own recovery but also because I’ve witnessed so many of God’s miracles in countless lives.”
Our Heavenly Father truly is the only one who can heal us.
And while it’s most important to spend time with Him and read His word, it’s wonderful to have supplemental programs like Celebrate Recovery that can further help us all internalize His love and find healing.
If you’re looking for a Celebrate Recovery meeting near you, check out their group locater here.
The healthier you become emotionally – the greater He can use YOU to be salt and light in this broken world.
May God grant you peace and healing as you seek Him – He truly is our ultimate healer.
We aren’t promised full healing in this lifetime, but we can work to become as whole as we can, and continue to serve Him from a place of strength.
God bless you.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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