Category: Recovery Principles

Twelve Steps of Christianity

Hi there,

Over the last couple of months, I have been challenged with the topic of what this blog will focus on in 2021. Every year in November and December I attempt to make a conscious decision on the focus for the year ahead.

To date, I have tried to maintain a 12 Step approach to blog content on this site. In the last few weeks, I have been reading (and studying) the book TWELVE STEP CHRISTIANITY by Saul Selby.

In this book, Saul Selby talks about how The Oxford Group’s spiritual tenets, contributed to the development of AA’s Twelve Steps.

The tenets are:

  • Surrender: The decision to submit one’s will totally to God’s will. e

  • Confession of Sin: Confessing one’s sins to both God and another person.
  • Restitution: The righting the wrongs done to others because of sin in our lives.

  • Guidance: Encouragement to set aside time for daily prayer and meditation to seek God’s face and receive direction and power for life.

  • Witnessing: Encouragement to share with others what God had done in our lives.

  • The Four Absolutes: The example of Christ Himself was the standard of living. His example of holy living held up as a banner by which we can measure our own behaviour.
    • Absolute Honesty
    • Absolute Purity
    • Absolute Unselfishness
    • Absolute Love

In the book Saul Selby also shares.

They are:

  1. We are powerless to live the Christian Life. in our own strength.

  2. We need to experience Jesus both as personal and available in our lives.

  3. We need to decide to completely surrender our lives to God’s will and purpose.

  4. We need to honestly examine the impact of sin in our lives.

  5. We need to confess our sin to both God and another person we trust.

  6. We need to become determined to stop sinning.

  7. We need to ask God to remove our impulse to sin.

  8. We need to make restitution for the harm our sin has done to others.

  9. We need to resist the temptation to keep sinning, confess to God when we do, and make restitution for the harm it causes.

  10. We need to seek God’s will through prayer, meditation, and Bible study.

  11. Following salvation through faith in Jesus Christ we need to let Him use us to influence the lives of others.
  1. We are powerless to live the Christian Life.

  2. Experiencing Jesus as personal and available.

  3. Decide to completely surrender our lives to God.

  4. Honestly examine the impact of sin in our lives.

  5. Confessing our sin to God and another person.

  6. Become determined to stop sinning.

  7. Asking God to remove our impulse to sin.

  8. Making restitution for the harm our sin has done to others.

  9. Resisting the temptation to sin. Confessing to God when we do and making restitution for the harm it causes.

  10. Seeking God’s will through prayer, meditation and Bible study.

  11. Following salvation through faith in Jesus Christ letting Him use us to influence the lives of others.

In 2021 it is my desire to use these tenets and ‘Christian equivalents of the Twelve Steps’ to write daily podcasts and weekly topical videos to pass on the message ‘We all need recovery.’ and the way to achieve it is through learning and applying God’s plan for living as we walk the ‘Rod to Recovery’ together.

Principle 1 – HONESTY

STEP ONE: I admit that my life is a mess and I am out of control.

I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
Romans 7:18-21


Honesty – The operating principle behind step one is honesty. If you can’t get honest about your problems and get honest about making a sincere effort to resolve them, you will not succeed. A good definition of honesty is the absence of the intention to deceive? Who are you trying to deceive?


The integrity of the honest keeps them on track. An honest life shows respect for God. It is better to be poor and honest than a rich person no one can trust. God-loyal people, living honest lives, make it much easier for their children. 

 God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love–like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do.

 Proverbs 11:3 ~ Proverbs 14:2 ~ Proverbs 19:1 ~ Proverbs 20:7 ~ Ephesians 4:15


The truth brings freedom. Only Jesus offers true freedom. Our job is to learn the steps and apply them to every area of our lives daily and share the message of ‘Good News’ with others who are still struggling in their problems. We can do this only by speaking the truth and backing up our words by demonstrating what He has done for us.

An invitation to love. One of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible about love is 1 Corinthians 1:13. Paul points out in this chapter loves is more than emotion; it is selfless action. Love requires telling the truth. Even when it’s difficult or painful. No relationship built on lies can improve our lives or the lives with those we are in a relationship with.

The importance of trust. When life is going smoothly, trust is easy. Trust in our lives is tested when nothing makes sense. God alone is sufficient to help us deal with our problems when nothing seems to be going right. But, for Him to help us we need to tell Him the truth (even though He knows it anyway) do what we can to resolve our problems and trust Him for the outcomes.


Rejected honesty is better than accepted dishonesty. God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. 1 Thessalonians 2:3 When Jesus Christ becomes our Higher Power it comes with a responsibility, to be honest in our words and in our actions.

 Honesty breeds trust. Since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you. James 5:12

Exaggerating and lying makes it difficult for anyone to believe us. Always tell the truth and you will become trustworthy.


Principle 1 – Handout

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