The Twelve Steps and Their Biblical Comparisons
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.
“But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realise 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.” Romans 7:17-20 – The Message
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
“Jesus…spoke up, ‘Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting outsiders, not insiders - an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out’” Luke 5:31-32 – The Message
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7 - NIV
3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.
“Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.” Psalm 34:17 – The Message
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
“Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.” Lamentations 3:40 – The Message
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” James 5:16– The Message
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you… Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” Jonah 2:7-8 – New International Version
7. We humbly asked God to remove all our shortcomings.
“God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 - The Message
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
"Here is a simple rule of thumb for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!...I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it...Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way" Luke 6:31-37 – The Message
9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
“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.” Matthew 5:23-24 – The Message
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me…Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place…Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” Psalm 51 – NIV
11. 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.
"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…Let the Word of Christ…have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives….Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way" Colossians 3:15-17 The Message
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
"Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived." Galatians 6:1-3 - The Message