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Scrooge and The 12 Steps Program
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Ebenezer Scrooge reflecting the 12 Steps program was the subject at a recent meeting of Celebrate Recovery, which I've been attending.
As is the case in the 12 Steps, Scrooge is forced to face his sin of greed and selfishness. The famous, often quoted line "Bah Humbug" is a denial of his sin and a sign of his callousness towards the way he treats others.
Scrooge turns away
two men who were collecting donations to provide heat for the poor.
That night, the ghost of Scrooge's partner visits him, dragging heavy chains he's bound in attached to money boxes as he wanders the earth, a result of greed and selfishness.
The first spirit
who visits Scrooge brings a vision of innocent times, his relationship with his sister during his youth and where he went to a Christmas party hosted by his employer, who treated him like a son. But this vision is shattered when his fiancee dumps him because he loves money more than he loves her and neglected her. The Ghost of
then takes him to the home of the girl who got away, to Christmas eve where she is married and has children in a happy home.
The Ghost of Christmas Present
takes Scrooge to joy filled Christmas celebrations and then to the home of Bob Cratchit, where he sees the happy Tiny Tim, who is seriously ill unless something is done. Before leaving, the ghost shows Scrooge to hideous, emaciated children named Ignorance and Want, and mocks Scrooge's callousness towards their welfare.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
shows the miser at his funeral, where people who dislike him care about his death.
So after taking an moral inventory of himself, examining his ways, he changes, showing kindness, generousity and compassion. Scrooge admits the exact nature of his wrongs, removes his shortcomings, and made ammends to those he wronged.
Celebrate Recovery 12 Steps and Biblical Comparisons
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out
. Romans 7:18 NIV
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose
. Philippians 2:13 NIV
3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship
. Romans 12:1 NIV
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord
. Lamentations 3:40 NIV
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
James 5:16a NIV
6 We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up
. James 4:10 NIV
7 We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness
. 1 John 1:9 NIV
8 We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Do to others as you would have them do to you
. Luke 6:31 NIV
9 We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
10 We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!
1 Corinthians 10:12
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 word of Christ dwell in you richly
. Colossians 3:16a NIV
12 Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted
. Galatians 6:1 NIV
, the Bible, empowered by the holy spirit, is sufficient to resolve any human personal problem, by restoring them to be more like Christ, putting off the old, unGodly ways that produces dysfunction, and putting on the new, Godly ways.
"in order to make the man of God adequate and to equip him fully for every good task." II Timothy 3:17 This message I gleamed from father of the Biblical Counseling movement, Pastor and Counselor Jay E Adam's book "How To Help People Change." More about this perhaps in another article.
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