Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles of Recovery & What They Mean

Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles of Recovery & What They Mean

Table of Contents

Learn more about the Celebrate Recovery 8 principles of recovery as you learn how they are based on the Beatitudes. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered recovery program for anyone with a hurt, habit, or hang-up. In this program, the road to recovery is paved with the Celebrate Recovery 8 principles and the 12 steps mentioned in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Celebrate Recovery has regular meetings and small groups – each broken down by similar hurt, habit, or hang-up. Most addicts are in one group, for example.

There are also step studies, which are like Bible studies, except they are more intense and help you work through the hurt you are struggling with. Step studies are a big deal; you work hard to earn your chips and know that you deserve to be there, standing next to your new sisters or brothers when it’s time to celebrate!

Celebrate Recovery is a fascinating place where possibilities turn into probabilities and failures turn into successes. There are probably things in your life you wish you could change; Celebrate Recovery can help you make that happen. Find a CR meeting near you to find out more about whether it’s for you or not.

Celebrate Recovery Eight Principles

PrinciplesPrinciple12 Steps
Principle 1Realize I’m not God. Admit I’m powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.Step 1
Principle 2Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.Step 2
Principle 3Consciously choose to commit my life and will to Christ’s care and control.Step 3
Principle 4Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.Steps 4 & 5
Principle 5Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.Steps 6 & 7
Principle 6Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.Steps 8 & 9
Principle 7Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.Steps 10 & 11
Principle 8Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.Step 12

Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles

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 unmanageable. (Step 1)

Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor.

Matthew 5:3a

Like the stages of grief, denying that you don’t have a problem won’t help you get through it, and denial certainly won’t help you find solutions to your problems. You must admit to and accept the fact that your life is not completely controlled; it never will be, but with the right help, especially that from God, you will see positive results – something you may have never dreamed of.

Celebrate Recovery Principle 1 can often be the hardest to do because you have to let go of the control you previously felt like you had in your life. Not everything is always going to go as planned, unfortunately. Believe me; I wish it would!

I’m a planner. I have about 30 binders that I use to organize everything from my writing and work materials to my Bible studies and Bible reading plans. Having control over my schedule and planning every aspect of my life brings me joy, so as you can imagine, I’ve had trouble with this step – letting go of control and all that.

Healing and letting go of control is a continuous process. If you struggle with control, try planning a “time for God” every day. Yes, you are still controlling your schedule, but at least you are adding something positive that you can do each day in regards to your faith. You could also meditate on scripture and just take a breather from all the stress of controlling your life.

2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)

Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

Having faith like this is a crucial part of recovery because, with God, you can get through anything. You just have to believe in His power and ability to strengthen you as a Christian and to do what is in your best interest in life. We will not always understand His plans for us, but we must have faith that He knows what He is doing and trust that.

I used to be pretty bipolar when it came to my faith. One second I was acting out and forgetting that God was even there for me, and the next, I was praying continuously and reading my Bible all the time. I think my addictive personality has always made me leap from one passion to the next.

Yes, I am on fire for the Lord now and plan to be for the rest of my life, but it wasn’t always so easy! I love being passionate about my faith, but when I thought God’s plan for my life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to, it was easy to put my beliefs on the back burner. I encourage you to always keep your faith in the forefront of your mind so you aren’t missing out on anything!

3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. (Step 3)

Happy are the meek.

Matthew 5:5a

When you accept Christ into your heart, your life will change forever. In fact, it will change for the better!

Just add a drop of faith, maybe a lump of faith, into the mix and watch what God will do in your life. You will be amazed at the results, the solutions to the problems you never thought you’d be able to solve. It doesn’t happen overnight, but time will make things better. Faith is all about believing in the impossible – something God is an expert at (**wink**)!

4. Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps 4 & 5)

Happy are the pure in heart.

Matthew 5:8a

Admitting your faults to specific people who you trust is a critical step on your road to recovery. Usually, you will take this step with your sponsor, a person who has been through the program and can understand and guide you on your path toward recovery. You’ll also do this through the step study program, where you will meet other people who are going through trials.

Recognizing the areas where you are in the wrong can be tough, especially if you are a perfectionist or don’t see flaws in yourself. However, once you are able to move past this, you will see possibilities in areas that you didn’t think could be changed. God really does work in mysterious ways and puts certain people in your life for a reason. Have faith!

When I did this principle with my sponsor almost a decade ago, it was tough. I told her things I’d never told anyone in my life; I never dreamed I would be able to openly share my faults like that with someone, but it’s all part of the process. Once you’ve gotten to this step, God will guide your heart and give you the courage to do this step, so keep believing!

5. Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. (Steps 6 & 7)

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires

Matthew 5:6a

Celebrate recovery 8 principles of recovery body imageYou now believe, have faith, and love God; you must let go of control now and put things in God’s hands. Recognize your faults and character defects and pray to the Lord that He will remove them or give you the ability and motivation to do it yourself! God really does work in ways that we cannot understand, so keep having faith in His plan.

I never dreamed I would be a full-time writer, that this would be my career. Sure, it’s something I “dreamed” of, but I never in a million years thought it would be a reality.

I guess I always thought being a writer was like dreaming of becoming the President of the United States – something that is very unlikely for most people who dream of it! I love what I do! God is amazing!!

You must believe in and love yourself to get through these steps. Faith in yourself is critical to success! You can do this, and God will put the right people in your life with Celebrate Recovery to successfully complete each step!

6. Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others. (Steps 8 & 9)

Happy are the merciful.

Matthew 5:7a

Happy are the peacemakers

Matthew 5:9

Mending your friendships, romantic relationships, and other partnerships to the best of your ability will help you get the closure you need to recover. Only take this step when it does not harm others, though. Remember, you will not be walking through these steps alone. Rather, you will have brothers and sisters in Christ who will cheer you on along the way.

This step can be daunting and seem nearly impossible, perhaps overwhelming, but if you believe in your abilities, you’ll do just fine! Know that others may not be as excited about your recovery as you are, but you aren’t doing this for them; you are doing this for YOU!

7. Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. (Steps 10 & 11)

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.

Psalms 119:1-2

This is my favorite principle. We must find time each day to spend it with God. If you don’t have time in your schedule, move things around and make time for God; you’ll be glad you did. If you’ve never had a relationship with God, learn how to pray, make Bible reading a daily habit, and study the Word of God regularly; this is how you will communicate with Him.

Remember that when you pray, you are talking directly to God. When you read your Bible and do Bible studies, you are hearing from God. It’s a two-way street; just look for the cues from God on what to do next, and He will guide you every step of the way!

By the way, the scripture with this principle does not “officially” go with this principle, but in my step study, we decided it worked well here, and I do believe it fits nicely!

8. Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words. (Step 12)

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.

Matthew 5:10

Now that you are a strong individual free of (or working on) your hurt, habit, or hang-up, you must do your best to spread the news of what Christ did for you.

You can have a stronger faith by just being the best Christian you can be. Just like the apostles did in the Bible, you must spread the word that recovery is possible for anyone – regardless of what they are currently going through!

Also, it’s your duty to explain to others how Celebrate Recovery changed your life, which isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do. However, if you ask the Lord for the courage and bravery to take this step, He will be there, right by your side, as you conquer your fears and spread the Good News that recovery is the answer to the problems of many people.

A Little Humor…

If you have about 2 minutes, watch the Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles video; it’s pretty funny! I enjoyed watching it and looking at the examples they use for each principle. Check it out!

Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles on the Road to Recovery by Rick H.

Conclusion

We listed out the Celebrate Recovery 8 principles in this article so that you will have them as a reference point, but in the next few months, we will dive into the Bible and Celebrate Recovery (CR) literature to explore these eight principles very closely. This way, you will know what to expect when you go to a Celebrate Recovery meeting, group, or step study!

Once you’ve attended a few CR meetings, you’ll be an expert at all of this stuff, so don’t feel overwhelmed right now.

You’ll probably even have the Celebrate Recovery Serenity Prayer memorized by then! It’s a powerful prayer that is used by the members of Celebrate Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous to give hope and encouragement as you walk this road to recovery.

If you are ready to rock the next few Celebrate Recovery articles with me, be sure to leave a comment or contact me via the contact form on my Contact page to let me know of your excitement and readiness to hear more about CR.

If you are a member of Celebrate Recovery or are anticipating going to a meeting, tell me about it! I’d love to hear about your enthusiasm on the subject, as it is one of my passions!

If you enjoyed this article and can’t wait to hear more, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know which articles are your favorites so that I’ll know which ones to include in the future! Your voice does matter to me! I look forward to hearing more about your experience with Celebrate Recovery or faith, in general.