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Twelve Steps and Biblical Expressions

Step 1

The Step: We admitted we were powerless over our compulsive behaviors, our addictions, and our losses, that our lives had become unmanageable.  

The Scripture:  “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  I want to do what is right, but I can’t.”  Romans 7:18

Step 2

The Step: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  

The Scripture: “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Step 3

The Step: We made a decision to turn our will and life over to the care of God as we understood him.

The Scripture: “[A]nd you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  Mark 12:30

Step 4

The Step: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

The Scripture “We must search and examine our ways; we must return to the LORD.” Lamentations 3:40

Step 5

The Step: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

The Scripture: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16

Step 6

The Step: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

The Scripture: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Romans 12:1-2  

Step 7

The Step: We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.  

The Scripture: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  James 4:10

Step 8

The Step: We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. 

The Scripture: “Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye’, when there’s a log in your eye?”  Matthew 7:3-4

Step 9

The Step: We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

The Scripture: “When a man or woman commits any sin against anyone else, thus breaking faith with the LORD, that person becomes guilty.  Such persons will confess the sin they have done.”  Numbers 5:6-7

Step 10

The Step: We continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it.  

The Scripture: “And now, just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him.” Colossians 2:6

Step 11

The Step: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.

The Scripture: “Pray continually.  Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Step 12

The Step: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Scripture: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20


God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.


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