Drawn from the Beatitudes, Celebrate Recovery helps people resolve painful problems in the context of the church as a whole. Rather than setting up an isolated recovery community, it helps participants and their churches come together and discover new levels of care, acceptance, trust, and grace.
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A recovery program based on
eight principles from the Beatitudes
Foreword by Rick Warren
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Celebrate Recovery® Inside
Copyright © 1998 by John Baker
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Principle 1: Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to
control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is
“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.”
Step 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.”
Think About It
Before we can take the first step of our recovery, we must first face and
admit our denial.
God tells us, “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!” (Jeremiah
6:14, TLB). The acrostic for DENIAL spells out what can happen
if we do not face our denial.
Disables our feelings
By repressing our feelings we freeze our emotions. Understanding and
feeling our feelings is freedom.
“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves
of destructive habits—for a man is a slave of anything that
has conquered him.” (2 Peter 2:19, GNB)
A side effect of our denial is anxiety. Anxiety causes us to waste precious
energy running from our past and worrying about and dreading the
future. It is only in the present, today, where positive change can occur.
“He frees the prisoners . . .; he lifts the burdens from those bent down
beneath their loads.” (Psalm 146:7–8, TLB)
We are “as sick as our secrets.” We cannot grow in recovery until we
are ready to step out of our denial into the truth.
“They cried to the Lord in their troubles, and he rescued them! He
led them from their darkness and shadow of death and snapped
their chains.” (Psalm 107:13–14, TLB)
Isolates us from God
God’s light shines on the truth. Our denial keeps us in the dark.
“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have
fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live
by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus,
his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5–7)
Alienates us from our relationships
Denial tells us we are getting away with it. We think no one knows—
but they do.
What is the answer?
“Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each
other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.”
(Ephesians 4:25, TLB)
Lengthens the pain
We have the false belief that denial protects us from our pain. In reality,
denial allows our pain to fester and grow and turn into shame and guilt.
God’s promise: “I will give you back your health again and heal
your wounds.” (Jeremiah 30:17, TLB)
Accept the first principle of recovery. Step out of your denial! Step into
your Higher Power’s—Jesus Christ’s—unconditional love and grace!
Write About It
1. What areas of your life do you have power (control) over? Be specific.
2. What areas of your life are out of control, unmanageable? Be specific.
3. How do you think taking this first step will help you?
4. As a child, what coping skills did you use to get attention or to protect
5. In your family of origin, what was the “family secret” that everyone
was trying to protect?
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