Jack Watts’ weekly column is aimed at helping those who have been wounded, including those who have been abused by the church. If you are in pain—or if someone you know is in pain—you will find real comfort, wisdom, and many answers right here. Based on his book, Recovering from Religious Abuse, published by Simon & Schuster, Jack will teach you the value of working the “11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.” Remember, recovery is a process—not a destination. The answers are simple but not always easy. Look to the Lord and allow His Spirit to heal you.
1. I acknowledge that my life is shipwrecked and not where I want it to be.
2. I commit to stop living my life in pursuit of self-defeating behavior.
3. I accept that the responsibility for getting back on track is mine and no one else’s.
4. I choose to believe what God says about Himself: that He is good and can be trusted. I recognize that God is not the abuser; rather, people who misuse their authority are the abusers.
5. I recognize that the only way back to a productive life is exactly the way I came. Therefore, I commit to repairing my relationship with God and making amends with everyone I have wronged along the way.
6. I refuse to become like those who have abused me and abandon my desire to spread malice because of my pain and my anger.
7. I will make a detailed, written account of my abusive experiences, as well as my subsequent behavior. I commit to being as thorough and honest as I’m able.
8. I will share my experience and my own wrongdoing with a trusted friend, confessing the exact state of my heart.
9. I humbly ask God to change anything He wishes, and I ask Him to heal my pain. Because God forgives us as we forgive others, I forgive my abusers.
10. I choose to believe God still has a purpose for my life—a purpose for good and not evil.
11. I make a commitment to nurture my relationship with God, asking Him to reveal His will to me and give me the power to carry it out.
by Jack Watts
Check out Jack Watt’s article Helping Wounded Christians Heal – Your Pain Has a Purpose.
Jack Watts won the award for the “Most Inspirational Memoir” in 2011 for Hi, My Name Is Jack, published by Simon & Schuster. They also published Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.His daily blog, Pushing Jesus, is read in more than 140 countries. Jack lives in Atlanta, where he broadcasts two weekly Blog Talk Radio shows—Jack Watts Live and Jack Watts on Recovery. Single, he has five children and nine grandchildren.