The Twelve Steps – NLT

Biblical comparison from the New Living Translation


We admitted we were powerless over our hurts, habits, and hang-ups and other people’s choices – that our lives had become unmanageable.

My life has been blown away like a shepherd’s tent in a storm.  It has been cut short, as when a weaver cuts cloth from a loom.  Suddenly, my life was over.  I waited patiently all night, but I was torn apart as though by lions.  Suddenly my life was over.  Delirious, I chattered like a swallow or a crane, and then I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew tired of looking to heaven for help.  I am in trouble Lord.  Help me!  – Isaiah 38:12-14


Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.  He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’  – Deuteronomy 33:27


Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money!  Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free!  Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good?  Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.  You will enjoy the finest food.  – Isaiah 55:1-2


Made a searching a fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

But God says to the wicked, “Why bother reciting my decrees and pretending to obey my covenant?  For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash.  – Psalm 50:16-17


Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

When I refused to confess my sin, my body washed away, and I groaned all day long.  Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.  My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.  Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, Ï will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me!  All my guilt is gone.  – Psalm 32:3-5


Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  – Lamentations 3:21-22


Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.  Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.  Wash me clean from my guilt.  Purify me from my sin.  – Psalm 51:1-2


Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Then Nathan said to David, You are that man!  The Lord, the God of Israel, says, Í anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul.’ Then David confessed to Nathan, Ï have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan replied, Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.”  – Samuel 12:7,13


Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.  To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.  – Proverbs 25:11-12


Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  Cleanse me from these hidden faults.  – Psalms 19:12


Sought 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 that out.

Be still, and know that I am God!.  – Psalm 46:10


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.

Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health.  You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.  Only the living can praise you as I do today.  Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.  – Isaiah 38:16-17,19