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The Eight Principles of 'Celebrate Recovery'

Updated on January 31, 2018
donotfear profile image

Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.

"I want to share some some deep thoughts from the Celebrate Recovery Journaling Log , a purpose driven resource by John Baker. Below each principle, I share my own personal understanding of the concept, in my own words, in combination with the Celebrate Recovery description. What a journey!"

The principles are based on the Beatitudes and explained in a personable way.

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.

Okay, God. So I know my life is unmanageable. I know I'm out of control. I'm beating myself up over this thing!  So now what?! No matter how hard I try, I just can't fix it myself. Rats!!. The more I try to do what I think is right, the worse it gets. So I'm ready to get out of this darkenss and into the light.  I promise to listen.


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

I admit I've been the one who tries to fix everything in my life. I'm the one who wants to attempt to control my hurts. Alone, I can't fix it. With You, I can do all things. It's time to believe it, receive it and get on with the business of healing and growing. With Your help, it can be done.  But I just have a hard time letting go!

3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to God's care and control.

I admit I've tried to take the reins and do it all myself. I just don't want to let go because I think I can do it alone. I'm coming to You kicking and screaming. I want to try to take it back again. I fail miserably. Today, I give it to You, Lord. Take it, break it, do anything you want with it, just take this stuff away from me! You're the only One who can do it. Help me overcome my hurts, hang-ups, and habits to receive victory! This is my desire. (To the 'thought that keeps coming back': I mean it, I'm giving it up!)

4. Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

I know my past behavior, both the good and bad things. You know it too, Lord. I've been a jerk in the past and others have jerked me around. But did I allow it? I feel so unworthy of forgiveness. I need Your strength to make me strong enough to come out of the closet with these "things" and face it for what it is: the truth. I'll work on making a mental list of the thorns in my life. I promise to ask for help from another kindrid spirit that may direct me as I share my recovery efforts with others.

5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

I need help preparing myself for change. I can't go into it blindly. Just because the habit or problem is familiar doesn't mean it's good for me. But it makes it harder to give up because it's familiar! Go figure! I need the strength to deal with my defects because I'm human and overly sensitive. I must turn it over to You, so I'm asking for the power to do so and the willingness to accept the changes You want me to make. Help me be the person You want me to be so I can be an example to others who go through adversity.

6. Evaluate 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. OOOOOhhhh, God. This is a hard one! Thank you for your love and forgiveness. I need your help obtaining forgiveness from those I've hurt in the past and actually forgiving those who've hurt me. This is so difficult! I don't want to let it go...I was hurt so bad! And what I did was unforgiveable....or was it? Help me set aside all insecurities and speak the truth with a sincere heart. My desire is to focus only on what MY part was, my responsibility, and my accountability. I know I can forgive others if I continue to proclaim it daily. Thanks!

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

....follow His will. Thanks for giving me the tools necessary to work on my misgivings and recovery. I need the desire to commit to working toward learning and growing. Help me to live my life differently and develop a daily commitment to spend time with You. Even though I don't always feel like reading your Word or praying, give me the desire to do it anyway. I know this will make me stronger, but I'm so undisciplined! We need to work on this one together.

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

This is my true desire! Allow my words and experiences to touch others in a way that they may be forever changed. Bring someone my way at the right time, the right place, and in Your timing so that healing can be produced. Allow me to lead by example and take charge when an opportunity opens to share. I really appreciate your understanding, God. Thanks!


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    • CarrieG profile image


      10 years ago from Nevada

      Thank you for sharing this hub. I was the "M" in our church CR. It is a wonderful progam. And it does work. I enjoyed the "M" spot until the rest of the T.E.A. had a meeting and insisted I did not use the words "the blood of Jesus" in the lessons. Well that was something I refused to do. So I steped down. The rest of the "TEAm" had more of AA in them and though CR needed to be ran like that. I like how you brought out your own Eight Principles in your life.

    • LVN profile image


      10 years ago from Bellevue, Washington

      Thank you for sharing. We have been doing Celebrate Recovery in our church for 7 years, it is a program that works.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      ericsomething: Thanks! Glad CR is working out for you. It's a great program.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      The Celebrate Recovery program has, to put it bluntly, saved my bacon. And even though I've been a participant for a little more than two years, it's still a big part of my life. My involvement these days is in helping to develop my C-R group's music program. It's so cool being able to put something back in, and maybe helping & encouraging someone. But I still revisit the steps 'cause recovery is ongoing.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Cailin: glad I could share with you.

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 

      10 years ago from New England

      Thank you for this enlightening article. Take it easy!

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      mythbuster: I too struggle with No.6. Making amends is so important. Facing that we were wrong is harder. But it's necessary in recovery.

    • mythbuster profile image


      10 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      I haven't heard much about Celebrate Recovery. I'm glad you've written this, donotfear - it's a nice resource for those in recovery. #6 looks like it's gonna hurt me... a lot. *ouch* Thank you for sharing your very personal perspectives.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Celebrate Recovery is a parallel to AA. Many wanted a program geared toward the Christian perspective, wanting to personalize the "Higher Power" into what we relate to: Jesus. I found it to be very enlightening and a chance to be a part of a fellowship of believers who struggled with many things. I don't attend meetings anymore, but it's been really beneficial to lots of people. The only thing i would change in this program is the 'small groups'. When the body breaks down into small goups, there is a discussion time. Only thing is, there is no 'cross talking' involved. In other words, others can't give input to your problem. Only acknowledge it. You can vent and say what you want, but as far as getting 'traditional therapy', it won't happen in Celebrate Recover' but I understand why. I prefer group therapy myself, which I attend regularly each week. But I highly recommend Celebrate Recovery to anyone!

    • cheaptrick profile image


      10 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      This one's new to me but I see a kind of parallel to AA's 12 steps.One of my best fiends is in the"Fellow Ship"as he calls it.

      Very nice humanistic touch you added as well.



    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 

      10 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      I have heard so many good things about celebrate recovery - I wish there was one in our area. I commend you for writing this hub and for being so transparent. Transparency is not any easy thing. I really struggle with number 7 - for the same reason - I'm so undisciplined!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image


      10 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good Article - something to think about

    • ladyjane1 profile image


      10 years ago from Texas

      Wonderful hub donotfear, very inspiring. Let go let God is what I always say. Good job.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks to Caliber 50 and Micky D: Glad sharing this has clicked with you. Journey on my friends.

      Thank you sheila b.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      10 years ago


    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      We can surely apply these steps to every day living. Thanks Donotfear.

      I really like that Dusty Dude above me here. I have this compelling urge to gallop across the desert into the sunset with that guy. I'd certainly try to be a good side-kick. Happy trails

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      10 years ago from Arizona

      The steps to recovery seemed like such a long journey, that journey seems so long ago, but it remains fresh in my minds eye. We do recover, by Gods grace.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Veronica: You are super! I especially like what you say here..."In anything, especially in times of dire need and distress, we can really succeed in overturning strongly entrenched desires, influences, or practices that are mentally, physically, and spritually poisonious to us if we include God in the process" This is so true. But oh so hard is the fight!!!!

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks Hello hello. You've always got a good positive word to say.

      Thanks for the backup, Art 4 Life aka Jan. You are one of a kind.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      I think it's wonderful that you have found an avenue that seems to really work for you. It's funny, I just read today that there is a continual growth or rise in many who, although distrust religion as a whole, are eager for spirtuality.

      In my personal opinon and experiences, without total reliance on God, we can't make it in this topsy turvy world.

      At one point and time I thought I could do it on my own. After banging my head against the wall, figuratively speaking, once I saw that submitting myself to his requirements was part of the solution, it made my life so much easier.

      In anything, especially in times of dire need and distress, we can really succeed in overturning strongly entrenched desires, influences, or practices that are mentally, physically, and spritually poisonious to us if we include God in the process - this is whether it's a selfhelp approach we take, or even a more professional approach such as therapy or support groups.

      Thank you for sharing your expereinces with us. This no doubt will help others that are going through a similar experince. - I'm sorry I was so lengthy. :)

    • profile image

      Art 4 Life 

      10 years ago

      Our lives aren't easy, but through the potter's hands, we are formed, and with the fire, we are made other words, I had rather be a beautiful pot, than a clump of cold clay, even though it got pretty hot at times...LOL

      You have been a good friend to me, even though we are far apart, I will always have your back and be there when you need me...with a side of humor...hugs

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      It must such a hard battle but you are already half way through when you face it and talk and write about it. Thank you for a well written hub and my best wishes. As they say one step at a time and it will get you there.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thank you for your input Hokey and Unchained Grace.

      You know, I think the 4th principle is one of the most important. Learning to trust and knowing the right person to sponsor you as a mentor. Thank God I have a sponsor.

      Thanks to Art 4 Life for being my sponsor and mentor during rough times!

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I have had the pleasure of attending Celebrate Recovery meetings to see how they differed from AA and I found many who were enjoying tremendous progress within themselves. It is an outstanding program which I would readily recommend.

      There are many Christians out there also who not only battle the demons of substance abuse but the difficulties in understanding for themselves the 'forgiveness' concept and how it relates in their lives.

      This is a very well presented Hub on a well developed program!

    • Hokey profile image


      10 years ago from In the energy.

      Great Hub! I am glad you did this. The more help we can get out the better. I like your interpretations.


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