Making Ends Meet

Making Ends Meet While Recovering from Substance Abuse

Finding a job after experiencing substance abuse can be quite difficult. Odds are, you will have an unexplained gap in your work history that potential employers are going to want explained. Furthermore, depending on how long you were out of the workforce, you have probably missed key opportunities and lost time. It is normal to think about what would have been if you never had substance abuse disorder, but it is important not to linger on the past. Instead, look forward to the future and focus on the now. That first job is out there, but until you land the opportunity, here are a few things you can try to help ends meet:

Start a Side Gig

The term “side gig” is not exactly accurate. After all, many people make their living with only one or two side gigs and don’t have a full-time job. Plus, many people who don’t have jobs or are in between jobs use side gigs to help pay the bills. Therefore, a side gig really isn’t always a side gig.

There are countless side gigs out there. According to Side Hustle Nation, people are making money from doing everything from teaching English, renting out a room through Airbnb and affiliate marketing. The odds are that you have a skill someone is willing to pay for. Are you good at drawing? Perhaps consider design business logos. Love pets? Become a pet sitter. There are lots of opportunities out there that can help you make some extra cash while you’re looking for jobs. Plus, all of these things can be added to your resume! People who can work independently and accomplish projects by themselves are great assets to any business.

Sell Homemade Items

If you can make something that other people want to buy, you can make money. In today’s fast-paced, online world, it is easier than ever to sell physical items to people across the country and make a pretty penny while doing it. Decades ago, the only way to sell anything was to either open up your own physical store, post flyers, or get an existing store to buy your stock. However, now you can simply sell your items on sites like Etsy. According to the Talented Ladies Club, you can also sell on sites including Folksy, Facebook and on your own website.

Teach Music Lessons

Here is where those childhood piano lessons pay off. Many parents want their children to learn some type of instrument and with many schools cutting down their music programs, they’re starting to turn to independent music teachers. If you can play an instrument, you can teach others to play that instrument as well. Of course, there are some instruments that are more popular than others. If the demand is particularly high in your area, it might even be worth learning a new instrument so that you can teach others.

Take Care of Yourself

With so many possible ways to make money, it can be very tempting to try them all. After all, the more things you try, the more money you’ll make. However, it is important not to overwork yourself, especially when you’re still recovering from your addiction. Maintain your commitment to sobriety by eating a proper diet, hydrating throughout the day and exercising regularly. If you work so much that you don’t have time for yourself, you will quickly burn out and find yourself unable to work as hard as you could otherwise. Take regular breaks and leave plenty of time for self-care, especially when you are stressed or have just begun a new venture.

Finding a new job while recovering from substance abuse disorder can be difficult. You probably have bills to pay and loved ones to take care of, but a gap in your work history can make it difficult to find a job that isn’t soul-sucking. Fortunately, there are lots of fulfilling, flexible ways to make a living.


Gratitude –

We have taken many steps on our road to recovery. Our first step was to admit that we were (and are) powerless. Our second step led us to choose, once and for all, a power by which to live. We took our third and most important step when we chose to turn our lives and wills over to the only true Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

As we continue our journey, we grow in our conscious contact with God and He begins to unfold in our lives. And, as we begin to grow in our understanding of Him, we begin to live out the decision we made in Principle 3. We keep walking now, in peace, as we maintain inventories on a regular basis and as we continue to deepen our relationship with Christ. The way we do this according to Principle 7, is to “reserve a daily time with God.” During this time we focus on Him by praying and meditating.

Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to God on a daily basis. When I meditate I don’t get into some yoga-type position or murmur, “om, om, om.” I simply focus on and think about God or a certain Scripture verse or maybe even just one or two words. This morning I spent ten or fifteen minutes just trying to focus on one word: “gratitude.”

I need to meditate every morning, but I don’t. Some mornings my mind wanders and I find it very difficult to concentrate. Those old familiar friends will come back. You know, that old familiar committee of past dysfunction. The committee will try to do everything it can to interrupt my quiet time with God. Through daily working the principles to the best of my ability, however, I’ve learned to shut them up most of the time.

I’ve learned to listen to God, who tells me that I have great worth. And He will say the same to you—if you will listen.

When I start my day with Principle 7 and end it by doing my daily inventory, I have a pretty good day—a reasonably happy day. This is one way I choose to live “one day at a time” and one way I can prevent relapse.

Another way to prevent relapse, especially during the holidays, is by maintaining an attitude of gratitude.


This week, the week before we celebrate Thanksgiving, I suggest that your prayers be focused on your gratitude in four areas of your life: toward God, others, your recovery, and your church. I’m going to ask you to write them down on your “gratitude list.” This is an interactive lesson.

We are going to take some time now for you to build your gratitude list for this Thanksgiving.

First, for what are you thankful to God? Offer prayers of gratitude to your Creator.

In Philippians 4:6, we’re told, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Psalm 107:15 encourages us to “give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and wonderful deeds for men.” What wonderful deeds they are! What are at least two areas of your life in which you can see God’s work and that you are thankful for this holiday season?

You can reflect on the last eleven months or on what God has done for you this week or even today. Then take a moment to list just a few of the special things for which you are thankful to your Higher Power.

The next area is to list the individuals that God has placed in your life to walk alongside you on your road of recovery. We need to be thankful for others.

“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the word of Christ—the message—have the run of the house” (Colossians 3:15–16, MSG).

Who are you thankful for? Why? Take a moment to list them.

The third area we can be thankful for is our recovery.

“As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us” (Hebrews 12:1, GNB).

What are two recent growth areas of your recovery for which you are thankful? Again, list them now.

The fourth and final area to be thankful for is your church.

“Enter the Temple gates with thanksgiving” (Psalm 100:4, GNB).

What are two things for which you are thankful to your church?


Take your “gratitude list” home with you tonight and put it in a place where you will see it often. It will remind you that you have made progress in your recovery and that you are not alone, that Jesus Christ is always with you.

Using your gratitude list, going to your recovery meetings and making them a priority, getting involved in service in your church are the best way I know to prevent relapse during the holidays.

Let’s close in prayer.

Dear God, help me set aside all the hassles and noise of the world to focus and listen just to You for the next few minutes. Help me get to know You better. Help me to better understand Your plan, Your purpose for my life. Father, help me live within today, seeking Your will and living this day as You would have me.

It is my prayer to have others see me as Yours; not just in my words but more importantly, in my actions. Thank You for Your love, Your grace, Your perfect forgiveness. Thank You for all those You have placed in my life, for my program, my recovery, and my church family. Your will be done, not mine. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


Crossroads –

You have arrived at a very important junction. You have traveled a long road, which required facing your denial; surrendering your life to Jesus Christ; taking an honest look at your life; listing, confessing, and sharing all your wrongdoing; being humble enough to allow God to make major changes in you; becoming willing to forgive or make amends; offering your forgiveness to those that have hurt you; making amends for all the harm that you have caused to others…

WOW! That’s quite a journey! Not too long ago, most of us would have said that it was an impossible journey, that we could never have changed or grown so much, that we could never have done the work that the first six principles ask of us.

And we would be right. We could never have made it through by ourselves on our own power. In fact, the only reason we have made it this far is because we made a decision way back in Principle 3 to turn our lives and wills over to the care of God.

Jesus explains it this way in John 8:32: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Then in John 14:6 He defines Truth by saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We have been set free from our addictions and our obsessive/compulsive behaviors because of the “Truth” we have asked into our hearts, Jesus Christ.

Because of this life-changing decision you made, Jesus has come in—at your invitation—and rebuilt the foundation of your life! You will undoubtedly see major changes, if you haven’t already!

Principle 7 and Step 10 are a crossroads of your recovery. It is not a place to stop and rest on past accomplishments. We need to thank God for getting us this far on our road to recovery, praise Him for the many victories over our hurts, hang-ups, and habits we have seen in working the first nine steps, but we also need to continue working the last three steps with the same devotion and enthusiasm that got us to this point in our recoveries.

First Corinthians 10:12 puts it this way: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

Most recovery material refers to Steps 10 through 12 (Principles 7 and 8) as the “maintenance steps.” I disagree with the use of the word “maintenance.”

I believe that it is in these steps and principles that your recovery, your new way of living, really takes off, really bears the fruit of all the changes that God and you have been working on together.

It is in Principles 7 and 8 where you and I will live out our recoveries for the remainder of our time here on this earth—one day at a time! That’s much, much more than “maintenance,” folks!

Step 10

As we begin to work Step 10, we will see that it is made up of three key parts.

1. The what: “We continued to take personal inventory …”

2. The why: “ … and when we were wrong …”

3. The then what: “ … promptly admitted it.”

Tonight we are going to spend a little time looking at each of these parts of Step 10. Of course, we need an acrostic. Tonight the word is TEN.


Take time to do a daily inventory

Evaluate the good and the bad

Need to admit our wrongs promptly


The T answers the “what” question: TAKE time to do a daily inventory.

To inventory something is simply to count it. Businesses take inventory all the time. Principle 7 reminds us to “reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer.” This gives us quiet time to count the good and bad things we did during a particular period of time. Lamentations 3:40 exhorts us to “examine our ways and test them, and … return to the Lord.”

We need to ask ourselves these questions:

  • What good did I do today?
  • In what areas did I blow it today?
  • Did I do or say anything that hurt anyone today?
  • Do I owe anyone amends?
  • What did I learn from my actions today?

I do this on a daily basis. I reflect on my day to see if I harmed someone, acted or reacted out of fear or selfishness, or went out of my way to show kindness.

As we stressed in Principle 4, our daily inventories need to be balanced. We need to look at the things we did right as well as the areas in which we missed the mark and blew it! Believe it or not, by the time we get to Principle 7, we actually start doing a lot of things right. But if we are not careful, we can slowly slip back into our old habits, hang-ups, and dysfunctions, so we need to take regular, ongoing inventories.

The E in our acrostic answers the “why” question: EVALUATE the good and the bad.

The step doesn’t say, “ … if we’re wrong.” That’s what I wish it said. If I’m ever wrong … if perhaps I blew it … No. The step says when I’m wrong.

Sometimes, I really do not want to work this step. If forces me to admit that, on a daily basis, I’m going to be wrong and I’m going to make mistakes. I struggled with this for years in my early recovery, until one day I saw a sign that was hanging in a meeting room in downtown Los Angeles. The sign read: “Would you rather be right … or well?”

Would you rather be right or well?

First John 1:8–10 (TLB) says: “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins). If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for he says we have sinned.”

In John 3:21 Jesus tells us, “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.” Step 10 brings us, on a daily basis, into the light.

Once we see the light, we have a choice. We can ignore it or we can act on it. If we act, we are living the last part of Step 10 and answer the “then what” question. We NEED to admit our wrongs promptly.

For years I couldn’t admit it when I was wrong. My wife can vouch for that! I couldn’t admit my mistakes. My refusal to offer amends blocked all my relationships, especially with my family. As I grew and matured in the Word and recovery, I discovered that I had to own my mistakes and take responsibility for my actions. I couldn’t do that if I didn’t take time daily to allow God to show me where I missed the mark.

There’s another word that I wish had been left out of Step 10, the word “promptly.” It’s easier for me to admit the mistakes I made ten years ago than the mistakes I just made today. But Step 10 says promptly! As soon as I realize that I blew it I need to promptly admit it!

In Matthew 5:23–24 (MSG), Jesus tells us, “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then, and only then, come back and work things out with God.”

In other words, admit your wrongs … promptly!


One way to easily keep track of your good and bad behavior is to keep a journal. Now, your journal is not for you to record the calories that you had for lunch today or your carpool schedule for school. Your journal is a tool for you to review and write down the good and the bad things you did today.

Look for negative patterns, issues that you are continually writing down and having to promptly make amends for—again and again. Share them with your sponsor or accountability partner, and set up an action plan for you, with God’s help, to overcome them.

Try to keep your journal for seven days. Start out by writing down one thing that you are thankful for from your experiences from the day. That will get you writing.

If you haven’t used a journal so far in your recovery, I believe you will find this recovery tool a great help! I encourage you to make journaling a daily part of your program.

Next week we will talk about the how-tos of Step 10 and ways of avoiding constantly needing to offer your amends.



Victory –

We are going to use the acrostic VICTORY.


Voluntarily submit

Identify character defects

Change your mind

Turn over character defects

One day at a time

Recovery is a process

You must choose to change


The V is VOLUNTARILY submit to every change God wants me to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings. The Bible says that we are to make an offering of our very selves to God. “Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him.… Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind” (Romans 12:1–2, GNB).

When you accepted Principle 3, you made the most important decision of your life by choosing to turn your life over to God’s will. That decision got you right with God; you accepted and determined to follow His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Then you began to work on you. You made a fearless and moral inventory of yourself. The first step in any victory is to recognize the enemy. My inventory showed me that I was my greatest enemy.

You came clean by admitting and confessing to yourself, to God, and to another person your wrongs and your sins. For probably the first time in your life, you were able to take off the muddy glasses of denial and look at reality with a clear and clean focus.

Now you are considering what Step 6 says: that you are “entirely ready to have God remove all of your defects of character.” You’re at the place in your recovery where you say, “I don’t want to live this way anymore. I want to get rid of my hurts, hang-ups, and habits. But how do I do it?”

The good news is that you don’t do it!

Step 6 doesn’t read, “You are entirely ready to have you remove all of your defects of character,” does it? No, it says, “You are entirely ready to have God remove all your defects of character.”

So how do you begin the process to have God make the positive changes in your life that you and He both desire?

You start by doing the I in victory: IDENTIFY which character defects you want to work on first. Go back to the wrongs, shortcomings, and sins you discovered in your inventory. Falling down doesn’t make you a failure, staying down does! God just doesn’t want us to admit our wrongs, He wants to make us right! He wants to give us a future and a hope! God just doesn’t want to forgive us, He wants to change us! Ask God to first remove those character defects that are causing you the most pain. Be specific! “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Let’s move to the C, which stands for CHANGE your mind.

Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us that when you become a Christian, you are a new creation, a brand new person inside. The old nature is gone. The changes that are going to take place are the result of a team effort. Your responsibility is to take the action to follow God’s direction for change. You have to let God transform (change) you by renewing your mind.

Let’s look at Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

To transform something means to change its condition, its nature, its function, and its identity. God wants to change more than just our behaviors. He wants to change the way we think. Simply changing behaviors is like trimming the weeds in a garden instead of removing them. Weeds always grow back unless they are pulled out by the roots. We need to let God transform our minds!

How? By the T in victory: TURNING your character defects over to Jesus Christ. Relying on your own willpower, your own self-will, has blocked your recovery. Your past efforts to change your hurts, hang-ups, and habits by yourself were unsuccessful. But if you “humble yourselves before the Lord, … he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

Humility is not a bad word, and being humble doesn’t mean you’re weak. Humility is like underwear: we should have it, but we shouldn’t let it show. Humility is to make the right estimate of one’s self or to see ourselves as God sees us.

You can’t proceed in your recovery until you turn your defects of  character over to Jesus. Let go! Let God!

The next letter is O: ONE day at a time.

Your character defects were not developed overnight, so don’t expect them to be instantly removed. Recovery happens one day at a time! Your lifelong hurts, hang-ups, and habits need to be worked on in twenty-four-hour increments. You’ve heard the old cliché: “Life by the yard is hard; life by the inch is a cinch.” Jesus said the same thing: “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matthew 6:34, TLB).

When I start to regret the past or fear the future, I look to Exodus 3:14 where God tells us that His name is “I am.”

I’m not sure who gets the credit for the following illustration, but it’s right on. God tells me that when I live in the past with its mistakes and regrets, life is hard. I can take God back there to heal me, to forgive me, to forgive my sins. But God does not say, “My name is ‘I was.’” God says, “My name is ‘I am.’”

When I try to live in the future, with its unknown problems and fears, life is hard. I know God will be with me when that day comes. But God does not say, “My name is ‘I will be.’” He says, “My name is I am.”

When I live in today, this moment, one day at a time, life is not hard. God says, “I am here.” “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Let’s look at the letter R: RECOVERY is a process, “one day at a time” after “one day at a time.”

Once you ask God to remove your character defects, you begin a journey that will lead you to new freedom from your past. Don’t look for perfection, instead rejoice in steady progress. What you need to seek is “patient improvement.” Hear these words of encouragement from God’s Word: “And I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns” (Philippians 1:6, TLB).

The last letter in victory is Y: YOU must choose to change.

As long as you place self-reliance first, a true reliance on Jesus Christ is impossible. You must voluntarily submit to every change God wants you to make in your life and humbly ask Him to remove your shortcomings. God is waiting to turn your weaknesses into strengths. All you need to do is humbly ask!

“God gives strength to the humble, … so give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you” (James 4:6–8, TLB).


To make changes in our lives, all I had to do and all you need to do is to be entirely ready to let God be the life-changer. We are not the “how” and “when” committee. We are the preparation committee: all we have to be is ready!

Tonight, Jesus is asking you, “Do you want to be healed, do you want to change?” You must choose to change. That’s what Principle 5 is all about! Let’s close with prayer.

Dear God, show me Your will in working on my shortcomings. Help me not to resist the changes that You have planned for me. I need You to “direct my steps.” Help me stay in today, not get dragged back into the past or lost in the future. I ask You to give me the power and the wisdom to make the very best I can out of today. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.


Ready –


Congratulations! If you are ready for Principle 5, you have already taken some major steps on the road to recovery. You admitted you had a problem and were powerless over it; you came to believe that God could and would help you; you sought Him and turned your life and your will over to His care and direction; you wrote a spiritual inventory and shared that with God and another person. You’ve been busy! That’s a lot of work—hard work!

Maybe you’re thinking that it’s about time to take a breather and relax for a while. Think again!

In some recovery material, Step 6 (Principle 5) has been referred to as the step “that separates the men from the boys”! I would also like to add, “separates the women from the girls”! So let’s answer the question, “What does it mean to be entirely READY?”


One of the reasons that Principle 5 “separates the men from the boys”—or the women from the girls—is because it states that we are ready to “voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life.”

Most of us, if not all of us, would be very willing to have certain character defects go away. The sooner the better! But let’s face it, some defects are hard to give up.

We’ve formed our defects of character, our hang-ups, our habits over periods of ten, twenty, or thirty years. In this principle you and God—together—are going after these defects. All of them!

Tonight’s acrostic will show you how to get READY to allow Him to do that.


Release control

Easy does it

Accept the change

Do replace your character defects

Yield to the growth


The first letter tonight stands for RELEASE control. God is very courteous and patient. In Principle 3, He didn’t impose His will on you. He waited for you to invite Him in!

Now in Principle 5, you need to be “entirely ready,” willing to let God into every area of your life. He won’t come in and clean up an area unless you are willing to ask Him in.

It has been said that “willingness is the key that goes into the lock and opens the door that allows God to begin to remove your character defects.” I love the way the psalmist invites God to work in his life: “Help me to do your will, for you are my God. Lead me in good paths, for your Spirit is good” (Psalm 143:10, TLB).

Simply put, the R—release control—is “Let go; let God!”

The E in ready stands for EASY does it. These principles and steps are not quick fixes! You need to allow time for God to work in your life.

This principle goes further than just helping you stop doing wrong. Remember, the sin is the symptom of the character defect.

Let me explain. The sin is like a weed in a garden: It will keep reappearing unless it is pulled out by the roots. And the roots are the actual defects of character that cause the particular sin. In my case, the major sin in my life was abusing alcohol. That was the act, the sin. The defect of character was my lack of any positive self-image. So, when I worked Principle 5, I went after the defect—my lack of a positive self-image—that caused me to sin by abusing alcohol.

That takes time, but God will do it. He promised! “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it and he will” (Psalm 37:5, TLB).

The next letter is A: ACCEPT the change.

Seeing the need for change and allowing the change to occur are two different things, and the space between recognition and willingness can be filled with fear. Besides that, fear can trigger our old dependency on self-control. But this principle will not work if we are still trapped by our self-will. We need to be ready to accept God’s help throughout the transition. The Bible makes this very clear in 1 Peter 1:13–14 (GNB): “So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant.”

As I said, all the steps you have taken on the road to recovery have helped you build the foundation for the “ultimate surrender” that is found in Principle 5.

James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” All we need is the willingness to let God lead on us on our road to recovery.

Let’s move on to the D in ready, which is extremely important: DO replace your character defects.

You spent a lot of time with your old hang-ups, compulsions, obsessions, and habits. When God removes one, you need to replace it with something positive, such as recovery meetings, church activities, 12th-Step service, and volunteering! If you don’t, you open yourself for a negative character defect to return.

Listen to Matthew 12:43–45 (GNB): “When an evil spirit goes out of a person, it travels over dry country looking for a place to rest. If it can’t find one, it says to itself, ‘I will go back to my house.’ So it goes back and finds the house empty, … then it goes out and brings along seven other spirits even worse than itself, and they come to live there.”

I said that one of my major defects of character was a negative self-image, a nonexistent self-esteem, to be more exact. I wasted a lot of time in bars, attempting to drown it. When I started working the 12 Steps, I found I had lots of time on my hands. I tried to fill it by doing positive things that would build my self-esteem, rather than tear it down.

In addition to working my program and attending meeting after meeting, I fellowshipped and worked with “healthy” people. I volunteered. As the months passed, I got more involved at church too. There are many, many opportunities to serve and get involved in at church.

The last letter in ready is the Y: Yield to the growth.

At first, your old self-doubts and low self-image may tell you that you are not worthy of the growth and progress you are making in the program. Don’t listen! Yield to the growth. It is the Holy Spirit’s work within you.

“The person who has been born into God’s family does not make a practice of sinning, because now God’s life is in him; so he can’t keep on sinning, for this new life has been born into him and controls him—he has been born again” (1 John 3:9, TLB).


The question is, “Are you entirely ready to voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in your life?”

If you are, then read the Principle 5a verses found in Participant’s Guide 3, and pray the following prayer:

Dear God, thank You for taking me this far in my recovery journey. Now I pray for Your help in making me be entirely ready to change all my shortcomings. Give me the strength to deal with all of my character defects that I have turned over to You. Allow me to accept all the changes that You want to make in me. Help me be the person that You want me to be. In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.



We are now going to really dig in and begin the growth process of recovery. Even though Principle 4 may bring some growing pains with it, we are going to look at ways to maximize the growth and minimize the pain.

I wish I could say that you can escape the pain of your past altogether by going around it or jumping over it. But the only way I know to get rid of the pain of your past is to go through it. It has been said that “we need to use our past as a springboard, not a sofa—a guidepost, not a hitching post.”

I know some people who spend their lives rationalizing the past, complaining about the present, and fearing the future. They, of course, are not moving forward on the road to recovery. But you have chosen to continue going forward. And if you choose to embark on the adventure of self-discovery that begins with Principle 4 and continues through Principle 5, I can guarantee you that growth will occur.

Principle 4 begins the process of “coming clean.” Pastor Rick Warren calls this “truth decay.” It is here that we openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and another person we trust. We chip away and clean out all the decay of the past that has built up over the years and has kept us from really seeing the truth about our past and present situations.

A Moral Inventory

You may be wondering, “How do I do this thing called a moral inventory?”

That word “moral” scares some people. It scared me when I first worked this step in AA. Really, the word “moral” simply means honest!

In this step, you need to list, or inventory, all the significant events—good and bad—in your life. You need to be as honest as you can be to allow God to show you your part in each event and how that affected you and others.

Tonight’s acrostic will explain the five things you need to do to make a MORAL inventory.

Make time





First you need to MAKE time. Schedule an appointment with yourself. Set aside a day or a weekend and get alone with God! God tells us in Job 33:33 (TLB): “Listen to me. Keep silence and I will teach you wisdom!”

The next letter in MORAL, O, stands for OPEN.

Remember when, as a child, you would visit the doctor, and he would say, “Open wide!” in that funny sing-song voice? Well, you need to “open wide” your heart and mind to allow the feelings that the pain of the past has blocked or caused you to deny. Denial may have protected you from your feelings and repressed your pain for a while. But now it has also blocked and prevented your recovery from your hurts, hang-ups, and habits. You need to “open wide” to see the real truth.

Once you have seen the truth, you need to express it. Here’s what Job had to say about being open: “Let me express my anguish. Let me be free to speak out of the bitterness of my soul” (7:11, TLB). Perhaps the following questions will help to “wake up” your feelings and get you started on your inventory!

Ask yourself, What do I feel guilty about? The first thing that came to your mind is what you need to address first in your inventory.

Now don’t confuse conviction with condemnation. Romans 8:1 tells us, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” Once we have made the decision to ask Jesus into our hearts, once we confess our wrongs, accept Christ’s perfect forgiveness, and turn from our sins, He takes our condemnation. But we like to hold on to it and beat ourselves over the head—repeatedly—with it!

That’s condemnation. But it’s not from God, it’s from the enemy. Principle 4 will help you let go of your guilt, once and for all.

The next question you need to ask is What do I resent?

Resentment results from burying our hurts. If resentments are then suppressed, left to decay, they cause anger, frustration, and depression. What we don’t talk out creatively, we act out destructively.

Another big question that you need to openly ask during this step is What are my fears?

Personally, I have a fear of going to the dentist. But even though it may hurt while I’m in the chair, when he’s done driving the decay away, I feel a lot better.

Fear prevents us from expressing ourselves honestly and taking an honest moral inventory. Joshua 1:9 (GNB) tells us, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.”

Next on the list of hard questions to ask yourself: Am I trapped in self-pity, alibis, and/or dishonest thinking? Remember, the truth does not change; your feelings do!

These questions are only the beginning of your inventory, but don’t get discouraged. The next letter offers a reminder that you don’t have to face this task alone.

The next letter is R, which stands for RELY.

Rely on Jesus to give you the courage and strength this step requires. Here’s a suggestion: When your knees are knocking, it might help to kneel on them.

Isaiah 40:29 tells us that Jesus “gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” You can do this with His help.

Before we go any farther, I want to remind you that the principles and steps are in order for a reason (other than to create a nifty acrostic!). You need to complete Principle 3—turning your life and your will over to God—before you can successfully work Principle 4.

Once you know the love and power of the one and only Higher Power, Jesus Christ, there is no longer any need to fear this principle. Psalm 31:23–24 (TLB) tells us: “Oh, love the Lord, all of you who are his people; for the Lord protects those who are loyal to him.… So cheer up! Take courage if you are depending on the Lord.” And remember, courage is not the absence of fear but the conquering of it.

Now you are ready to ANALYZE your past honestly.

To do a “searching and fearless” inventory, you must step out of your denial, because we cannot put our faults behind us until we face them. You must look through your denial of the past into the truth of the present—your true feelings, motives, thoughts, and, as in the Star Wars movie Obi-Wan Kenobi says, your “dark side.”

Proverbs 20:27 (GNB) says, “The Lord gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves.” Believe me, I know! I tried! My grandma used to tell me, “Johnny, it’s not enough to be as honest as the day is long. You should behave yourself at night too!”

Some of you heard the word “analyze” and got fired up, because you love to pick apart the details of a situation and look at events from all angles. Others of you have broken out into a cold sweat at the thought of analyzing anything! For those of you whose hearts are pounding and whose palms are clammy, listen closely as we talk about the L in moral: LIST.

Your inventory is basically a written list of the events of your past—both good and bad. (Balance is important.) Seeing your past in print brings you face-to-face with the reality of your character defects. Your inventory becomes a black-and-white discovery of who you truly are way down deep.

But if you just look at all the bad things of your past, you will distort your inventory and open yourself to unnecessary pain. Lamentations 3:40 tells us, “Let us examine our ways and test them.” The verse doesn’t say, “just examine your bad, negative ways.” You need to honestly focus on the “pros” and the “cons” of your past!

I know people who have neglected to balance their inventory and have gotten stuck in their recoveries. Or even worse, they judged the program to be too hard and too painful and stopped their journey of recovery altogether—and they slipped back to their old hurts, hang-ups, and habits of the past.

An important word of caution: Do not begin this step without a sponsor or a strong accountability partner! You need someone you trust to help keep you balanced during this step, not to do the work for you. Nobody can do that except you. But you need encouragement from someone who will support your progress and share your pain. That’s what this program is all about.

In two weeks we will look at how to find a sponsor. That’s Lesson 8 in Participant’s Guide 2. It will show you some of the qualities to look for in a sponsor, what the job of a sponsor is, and some suggestions on how to find a sponsor or an accountability partner. That’s how you begin Principle 4.


At the information table, you will find some blank Principle 4 worksheets. In a few weeks, we will be talking about how to put them to use in helping you work this key step.

I encourage you to get Participant’s Guide 2 tonight if you have completed Principle 3.

Start working Principle 4. What are you waiting for? Start working this program in earnest.

If you are new to recovery or this is your first recovery meeting, we are glad that you are here. Pick up the first participant’s guide, Stepping Out of Denial into God’s Grace, and start this amazing journey with Jesus Christ. A healing journey that will lead you to freedom and truth. And by listening during the next two months, when you are ready to begin Principle 4, you will have a head start. You will also have a great understanding of the importance of Principle 4.

Let’s pray.

Dear God, You know our past, all the good and the bad things that we’ve done. In this principle, we ask that You give us the strength and the courage to list them so that we can “come clean” and face them and the truth. Please help us reach out to others who You have placed along our “road to recovery.” Thank You for providing them to help us keep balanced as we do our inventories. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Recovery From Sexual Addiction

Recovery From Sexual Addiction-

For years, I tried doing recovery on my own.  I felt like I was the only person who struggled with sexual addiction.  After all, RECOVERY is just for people with substance abuse problems, right?  I felt like I was living a double life for about five and a half years.  Off and on I would struggle with internet pornography.  I tried to battle my addiction with my own methods.  I had heard John 8:36 so many times,  “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.”  I believed in that scripture for everyone else and their problems.  So badly I wanted that scripture to apply to me.

I had been randomly attending Celebrate Recovery meetings at various locations.  I finally realized that just attending wasn’t enough for me.  I needed to actually work the program.  I chose a sponsor and began working the steps in the Step Study materials.  Choosing my sponsor was like removing a huge weight off my shoulders.  It was such a relief to know that someone else was aware of my struggles.  I didn’t have to feel like I was hiding something all the time.  I began to feel at peace with myself.

James 5:16 states, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”  I was finally able to receive healing.  I no longer had to continue on with my life in guilt and shame.  I finally learned first hand what it meant to be “free indeed.”  To me, Celebrate Recovery has become the judgement free community I needed where I could continually find encouragement, acceptance, and healing.

Carmen M.



When we get to Principle 3, we have worked, with God’s help, the first two principles to the best of our ability. We admitted our lives were out of control and unmanageable, and we came to believe that God could restore us.

But even after taking the first two steps we can still be stuck in the cycle of failure that keeps us bound by guilt, anger, fear, and depression. Now we are going to see how to get “unstuck.” How do we get past those old familiar negative barriers of pride, fear, guilt, worry, and doubt—those barriers that keep us from taking this step? The answer is action!

Principle 3 is all about ACTION. It states: “We choose to commit …” Making a choice requires action.

Almost everyone knows the difference between right and wrong, but most people don’t like making decisions. We just follow the crowd because it’s easier than making the decision to do what we know is right. We procrastinate making commitments that will allow change to occur from the pain of our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

Do you know that some people think that deciding whether or not to discard their old toothbrush is a major decision? Others are so indecisive that their favorite color is plaid!

But seriously, do you know that to not decide is to decide?

Do you know putting off the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Higher Power, Lord, and Savior really is making the decision not to accept Him?

Principle 3 is like opening the door: All you need is the willingness to make the decision. Christ will do the rest!

He said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Let’s look at tonight’s acrostic:




Turn it over

It’s only the beginning

One day at a time

Next step

The first letter, A, stands for ACCEPT Jesus Christ as your Higher Power and Savior!

Make the decision to establish that personal relationship with your Higher Power that He so desires. Now is the time to choose to commit your life. God is saying make it today! Satan says do it tomorrow.

In Romans 10:9 (GNB) God’s Word tells us, “If you declare with your lips, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

It’s only after you make this decision that you can begin to COMMIT to start asking and following His will! That’s the C of the word action.

I would venture that all of us here tonight have tried to run our lives on our own power and will and found it to be less than successful. In Principle 3, we change our definition of willpower. Willpower becomes the willingness to accept God’s power to guide your life. We come to see that there is no room for God if we are full of ourselves.

We need to pray the prayer the psalmist prayed when he said, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Psalm 143:10).

The letter T in action stands for TURN it over.

“Let go and let God.” You have heard that phase many times in recovery. It doesn’t say just let go of some things to God. It doesn’t say just let go of, turn over, only the big things.

Proverbs 3:6 (TLB) tells us, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” “In everything you do.” Not just the big things, not just the little things. Everything! You see, Jesus Christ just doesn’t want a relationship with part of you. He desires a relationship with all of you.

What burdens are you carrying tonight that you want to turn over to Jesus? He says, “Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens” (Matthew 11:28–30, TLB).

The next letter in ACTION is I. IT’S only the beginning.

In the third principle we make the initial decision to accept Christ as our personal Savior. Then we can make the commitment to seek and follow God’s will. The new life that begins with this decision is followed by a lifelong process of growing as a Christian.

Philippians 1:6 (TLB) puts it this way: “God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished.”

I like to compare the third principle to buying a new house. First you make the decision to buy the new house. But that’s only the beginning. There are still more steps that you need to take before you actually can move into the house. You need to go to the bank and apply for the loan. You need to get an appraisal. You need to complete the escrow. You need to contact the moving company. You need to contact the utility companies—all before you are ready to move in.

Recovery is not a three-principle program! Principle 3 is only the exciting beginning of a new life—a life we live in a new way: ONE day at a time. The letter O in ACTION stands for ONE day at a time.

Our recoveries happen one day at a time. If we remain stuck in the yesterday or constantly worry about tomorrow, we will waste the precious time of the present. And it is only in the present that change and growth can occur. We can’t change yesterday and we can only pray for tomorrow. Jesus gave us instructions for living this philosophy: “Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matthew 6:34, TLB).

Believe me, if I could go back and change the past, I would do many things differently. I would choose to spare my family the pain and the hurt that my sin-addiction to alcohol caused. But I can’t change even one thing that happened in my past. And neither can you.

And on the other side of the coin, I can’t live somewhere way off in the future, always worrying if “this or that” is going to happen. And neither can you. I leave that up to God.

But I can and do live in today! And I can, with Jesus Christ’s guidance and direction, make a difference in the way I live today. And so can you. You can make a difference one day at a time.

This finally brings us to the last letter in our acrostic. N stands for NEXT step.

The next step is to ask Jesus into your life to be your Higher Power. How? It’s very simple.

Pastor Rick Warren has developed an easy way for you to establish a “spiritual B.A.S.E.” for your life. Ask yourself the following four questions, and if you answer yes to all of them, pray the prayer that follows. That’s it. That’s all you have to do!

Do I

•Believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for me and showed He was God by coming back to life? (1 Corinthians 15:2–4)

•Accept God’s free forgiveness for my sins? (Romans 3:22)

•Switch to God’s plan for my life? (Mark 1:16; Romans 12:2)

•Express my desire for Christ to be the director of my life? (Romans 10:9)

If you are ready to take this step, in a minute, we will pray together. If you have already taken this step, use this prayer to recommit to continue to seek and follow God’s will.


Dear God, I believe You sent your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins so I can be forgiven. I’m sorry for my sins, and I want to live the rest of my life the way You want me to. Please put Your Spirit in my life to direct me, Amen.

If you made the decision to invite Christ into your life, be sure to let someone know.



Principle 3 states that we choose to commit our lives and wills to Christ’s care. Step 3 in AA’s 12 Steps says “turn our wills and lives.” I think Bill W., founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, got this step turned around. I believe that we must first commit and surrender our lives to the true Higher Power, Jesus Christ, and then we are able to turn over our wills to Him. Would you all agree with that?

When you choose to live this principle, you consciously choose to commit all your life and will to Christ’s care and control.

How do you do that? How do you turn your life and will over to your Higher Power, Jesus Christ?

Let’s look at tonight’s acrostic for the answer to that question.




New life

This step ends with new life, but you must first take three actions before that life can be yours. You must trust, understand, and repent.

First let’s talk about TRUST.

In Principle 3, you make the one-time decision to turn your life over to the care of God. It’s your choice, not chance, that determines your destiny. And that decision only requires trust, putting your faith into action!

But what is faith? Faith is not a sense, sight, or reason. Faith is simply taking God at His word! And God’s Word tells us in Romans 10:9 (GNB): “If you declare with your lips, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

For some people that’s just way too simple. They want to make salvation much more difficult. But it isn’t! Our salvation, thank God, depends on God’s love for us, not our love for Him.

After you have decided to trust, the next step is to UNDERSTAND. Relying solely on our own understanding got most of us into recovery in the first place! After you make the decision to ask Jesus into your life, you need to begin to seek His will for your life in all your decisions. You need to get to know and understand Him and what He wants for your life.

Proverbs 3:5–6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

You see, our understanding is earthbound. It’s human to the core. Limited. Finite. We operate in a dimension totally unlike that of our Lord. He knows no such limitations. We see now; God sees forever!

You know something really strange? It has taken me all my life to understand that it is not necessary for me to understand everything.

First Corinthians 13:9–13 (GNB) tells us, “For our gifts of knowledge … are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.… What we see now is like the dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete, as complete as God’s knowledge of me.”

Someday we will see Jesus face-to-face. The fog of interpretation will be lifted, and our understanding will be perfected.

Praise God that we do not need a perfect understanding of Him to ask Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior. Why? Because God does not lead you year by year. Not even day by day. God directs your way step by step.

The third letter in our acrostic, R, stands for REPENT.

Some people repent of their sins by thanking the Lord that they aren’t half as bad as their neighbors. That’s not true repentance! Repentance is how you begin to enjoy the freedom of your loving relationship with God. True repentance affects our whole person and changes our entire view of life. Repentance is to take God’s point of view on our lives instead of our own.

To truly repent you need to do two things: First, turn away from your sins; second, turn toward God. The Bible has much to say about repentance:

Turn from your sins and act on this glorious news! (Mark 1:15, TLB).

Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 18:30–31).

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remake you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed” (Romans 12:2, PH).

It seems that most people repent of their sins more from a fear of punishment than from a real change of heart. But repentance is not self-loathing; it is God-loving. God isn’t looking forward to punishing you! He is eagerly anticipating with open arms your turning toward Him. Then when you have chosen to turn from your sin toward Him, He will joyously give to you what the last letter in tonight’s acrostic stands for: NEW life.

The new life that you will receive is the result of taking the three actions that we just covered: trusting, understanding, and repenting.

As a pastor, I have heard some pretty glum definitions of life. These are just a few:

“Life is a hereditary disease.”

“Life is a sentence that we have to serve for being born.”

“Life is a predicament that precedes death.”

“Life’s a tough proposition; and the first hundred years are the hardest.”

Those are depressing words that you may feel are true if your life doesn’t include Jesus Christ. After you ask Jesus into your heart, you will have a new life! You will no longer be bound to your old sinful nature. You will receive a new loving nature dwelling within you from Christ.

God has declared you “not guilty,” and you no longer have to live under the power of sin! Romans 3:22 (TLB) says it well: “Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us ‘not guilty’—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins.”

Second Corinthians 5:17 (GNB) says: “When anyone is joined in Christ he is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.”

In what ways does the “new life” demonstrate itself in us?

The “old you” said…

Save your life!

Get, get, get!

Lead, at all costs.

Lie; the truth only complicates things.

Hate your enemy.

The “new you” says…

You must lose your life to keep it (Mark 8:35).

Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38).

Serve (John 13:12).

Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:29).

Love your enemy (Matthew 5:44).

Let’s wrap this up now.

Again, the “turn” in Principle 3 includes three very important actions that lead to a new life in Christ: trusting, understanding, repenting.

The good news is, turning your life over to Christ is a once-in-a-lifetime commitment. Once you accept Christ in your life, it’s a done deal. Ephesians 1:13 says your salvation is “sealed.” It’s guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.

The rest of the principle, however, turning your will over to Him, requires daily recommitment! You can begin by going to your Bible regularly, opening it prayerfully, reading it expectantly, and living it joyfully!

If you haven’t asked Jesus Christ to be your Higher Power, the Lord and Savior of your life, I encourage you to do so this evening. What are you waiting for? Pray this prayer.

Dear God, I have tried to do it all by myself on my own power, and I have failed. Today I want to turn my life over to You. I ask You to be my Lord and my Savior. You are the One and only Higher Power! I ask that You help me think less about me and my will. I want to daily turn my will over to You, to daily seek Your direction and wisdom for my life. Please continue to help me overcome my hurts, hang-ups, and habits, that victory over them may help others as they see Your power at work in changing my life. Help me to do Your will always. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen


Sanity –

Insanity has been defined as “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time.”

Sanity has been defined as “wholeness of mind; making decisions based on the truth.”

Jesus is the only Higher Power who offers the truth, the power, the way, and the life.

The following acrostic, using the word sanity, shows some of the gifts we receive when we believe that our true Higher Power, Jesus Christ has the power and will restore us to SANITY!



New Life



Your Higher Power

The first letter is S, which stands for STRENGTH.

When we accept Jesus as our Higher Power, we receive strength to face the fears that, in the past, have caused us to fight, flee, or freeze. Now we can say, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (Psalm 46:1) and “My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; he is all I ever need” (Psalm 73:26, GNB).

Relying on our own power, our own strength is what got us here in the first place. We believed we didn’t need God’s help, strength, or power. It’s almost like we were disconnected from our true power source—God!

Choosing to allow my life to finally run on God’s power—not my own limited power, weakness, helplessness, or sense of inferiority—has turned out to be my greatest strength. God came in where my helplessness began. And He will do the same for you!

The next letter, A, stands for ACCEPTANCE.

Romans 15:7 (GNB) says, “Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you.”

When we take Step 2, we learn to have realistic expectations of ourselves and others. We learn not to relate to others in the same old way, expecting a different response or result than they have given us time and time again. We begin to find the sanity we have been searching for. We remember to pray and ask God “to give us the courage to change the things we can and to accept the things we cannot change.”

As our faith grows and we get to know our Higher Power better, it becomes easier for us to accept others as they really are, not as we would have them be!

With acceptance, however, comes responsibility. We stop placing all the blame on others for our past actions and hurts.

The next letter, N, stands for NEW life.

In the pit of our hurts, habits, and hang-ups, we were at our very bottom. We know the feelings expressed in 2 Corinthians 1:8–9 (TLB): “We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God.”

The verse goes on to say, “God … alone could save us … and we expect him to do it again and again.”

The penalty for our sins was paid in full by Jesus on the cross. The hope of a new life is freedom from our bondage! “When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TLB).

The next benefit of this step is the I in sanity: INTEGRITY.

We gain integrity as we begin to follow through on our promises. Others start trusting what we say. The apostle John placed great value on integrity: “Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are following the way of truth” (3 John 4, NCV).

Remember, a half-truth is a whole lie, and a lie is the result of weakness and fear. Truth fears nothing—nothing but concealment! The truth often hurts. But it’s the lie that leaves the scars.

A man or woman of integrity and courage is not afraid to tell the truth. And that courage comes from a power greater than ourselves—Jesus Christ, the way, the TRUTH, and the life.

The T in sanity stands for TRUST.

As we work Step 2, we begin to trust in our relationships with others and our Higher Power. “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe” (Proverbs 29:25, GNB).

As we “let go and let God” and admit that our lives are unmanageable and we are powerless do anything about it, we learn to trust ourselves and others. We begin to make real friends in recovery, in our groups, and in church. These are not the mere acquaintances and the fair-weather friends we knew while we were active in our addictions and compulsions. In recovery you can find real friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, to walk beside you on your journey through the principles—friends whom you can trust, with whom you can share, with whom you can grow in Christ.

The last letter in our acrostic this evening is Y: YOUR Higher Power, Jesus Christ, loves you just the way you are! “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

No matter what comes your way, together you and God can handle it! “And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out” (1 Corinthians 10:13). “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19).

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Higher Power and Savior, we are not only guaranteed eternal life, but we also have God’s protection in time of trials. Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”


Recovery is a daily program, and we need a power greater than ourselves—a Higher Power who will provide us with the strength, acceptance, new life, integrity, and trust to allow us to make sane decisions based on His truth!

And if you complete the next principle, Principle 3, your future will be blessed and secure! Matthew 6:34 (TLB) says, “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”

Let’s close in prayer.

Dear God, I have tried to “fix” and “control” my life’s hurts, hang-ups, or habits all by myself. I admit that, by myself, I am powerless to change. I need to begin to believe and receive Your power to help me recover. You loved me enough to send Your Son to the cross to die for my sins. Help me be open to the hope that I can only find in Him. Please help me to start living my life one day at a time. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.