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Celebration of Recovery – An Overview

What Is Celebrate Recovery?

(Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7)

Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a step-by-step program developed by John Baker in 1990 at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, to help people overcome hurts, hang-ups, and habits (3Hs) based on understanding the loving power of Jesus Christ than a psychological theory.  It follows 12 recovery steps integrating biblical principles to help people overcome their hurts, hang-ups, and habits

The 3 Hs

Hurts, Hang-ups and Habits popularly known as the 3Hs are anything from the past or present that gets in the way of having a fruitful relationship with Christ and other people. They, sometimes, undermine and diminish our potentials despite the assurances that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13), thereby making life a daily struggle.

Hurts: Hurts are events, people, and places from the past or present that left negative impacts on us. They tend to occasionally reappear like unhealed wounds despite all efforts to either ignore or forget them. Hurts can be due to:

  • Abusive relationships
  • Heartbreaks
  • Betrayals
  • Injustice done against us
  • Abandonment
  • Divorces, etc.

 (Add to the list what can cause hurts)

Hang-ups: You probably have heard the saying “Actions elicit reactions”. Hang-ups, in a simple description, are negative reactions to actions. These are either the inappropriate or negative attitudes used to either cope with adversity or respond to situations in life. They can manifest as either character defects or negative behavior patterns such as:

  • Anger
  • Instant gratifications
  • Jealousy
  • Temper
  • Pride
  • Poor Impulsive decisions
  • Depression, etc

(Add to the list, what you consider as Hang-ups)

Habits: There are good and bad habits. However, for this study, we will focus on bad (negative) habits. Habits are repetitive actions or behaviors, most often associated with addictions that often draw us farther away from walking with Christ. They are indulgences that often lead to a solitary life against a life of fellowship with believers and communion with the Holy Spirit. In little or no time, they may result in outer manifestations of lost opportunities, lack, inner conflicts, unfruitful life, regrets and guilt. Examples include:

  • Substance Abuse
  • Pornography
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Food addictions
  • Over-spending, etc.

(Add to the list, what you consider as Hang-ups)

What Are The 12 Steps to Recovery?

These are the Twelve actions or steps, we take according to biblical principles. on the road to recovery to facilitate healing through Christ.

Step 1: Admit that we are POWERLESS over our addictions, compulsions and our life is unmanageable. (Romans 7:18)

Step 2:  Believe that a power greater than us could restore us to sanity (Philippians 2:13)

Step 3: Sincerely decide to commit our lives and wills to Christ’s care and control. (Romans 12:1)

Step 4: Make a fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (Lamentations 3:40)

Step 5: Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another person the exact nature of our wrongs. (James 5:16)

Step 6: Be entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (James 4:10)

Step 7: Humbly ask God to remove all our shortcomings. (1 John 1:9)

Step 8: Make a list of all persons we had hurt and be willing to amend to them all. (Luke 6:31)

Step 9: Make amends to such people wherever possible, except when it will either harm them or others. (Matthew 5:23-24)

Step 10: Continue to take personal inventory, and when we are wrong, promptly admit it (1Corinthians 10:12)

Step 11: Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out. (Colossians 3:16)

Step 12: Testify to others and practice these principles in all our affairs. (Galatians 6:1)



Recovery/Mental Health and Relationships

Studies have shown that emotional support provided through your healthy relationships can enhance your psychological well-being. Learning about relationships and how to be in a community with others can significantly impact your journey to mental health.

Recovery/Mental Health and Money

It’s clear that money evokes strong emotions and everyone has deeply held and often subconscious beliefs about money. But where do our feelings about money come from? Our thoughts about money often stem from childhood. How our parents handled money provides the foundation for how we may handle money. Learning about hurts, hang-ups, and habits (3Hs) based on understanding the loving power of Jesus Christ than a psychological theory can improve your chances of financial freedom. Celebrate Recovery follows 12 recovery steps integrating biblical principles to help people overcome their hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

Recovery/Mental Health and Eternal Perspectives

Everyday choices we make regarding how we treat God and others —which affect nearly everything we do—are of eternal consequence. Having an eternal perspective means understanding why Jesus constantly tried to get people to look beyond mortality and to think of this life in terms of where it fits in eternity.

Recovery/Mental Health and Spiritual Disciplines

Discipline is a necessary skill for proper mental well-being. Without it, you will never obey the teachings of Christ. Without it you will never accomplish anything. Discipline is being able to say no when you need to and to be able to put in the work to get well. As we invest our energy into developing spiritual disciplines, we partner with God in our growth and transformation. Then we can grow in his grace and produce fruit.


We hope that you enjoyed this article and that you can apply everything that you learned from here today.

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If you personally are benefiting from all of our resources on here, feel free to share with a friend, a co-worker, or a family member.

It is very important to understand that the topics covered in all our modules should be applied in the context of relationships, eternal perspectives, spiritual disciplines, financial freedom, and mental health.

Finally, we want to leave you with these five important questions that will change your life.

  • Do you have any spiritual beliefs?
  • To you, who is Jesus?
  • Do you think there is a heaven and a hell?
  • If you die right now, where would you go?
  • If what you believe were not true, would you want to know?

Find answers here @

We hope that you have an awesome day. See you next time.

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