"At a certain point in the drinking of every alcoholic, he passes into a state where the most powerful desire to stop drinking is of absolutely no avail." --Alcoholics Anonymous, top of page 24
Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is God. May you find Him now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
SOURCE: Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 5, How It Works, pages 58-60
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
AA's suggested program of recovery is not a self-help program. Rather, it is a spiritual program of action, designed to help the person in recovery come to the realization that the only solution to their problem is to seek and trust in God. This premise is repeated throughout the 'basic text' of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
The suggested 12-Steps of recovery are based on solid, BIBLICAL, principles.1 As we take2 the steps, we apply the respective spiritual principles, because we have admitted that our way hasn't worked and never will.
A simple understanding of the first three steps is often expressed as;
- I can't help myself
- I believe God can
- So I'm going to let Him
Many people, alcoholic or otherwise, push back hard against such an approach. Yet the founders and pioneers of AA came to realize that without God, there is no real, lasting recovery, only simple sobriety. To be physically sober is not enough. We must also come to know emotional sobriety as well, if we are to genuinely recover from "a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body".
1 See also;
- 12 Steps and the Bible (article)
- 12 Steps to Freedom in Christ (article)
- The Four Absolutes (article)
- Creating A Sober World (video)
2 Many people have a tendency to say, "I'm working on step..." This is a misnomer. When we *take* the steps, we learn the principle(s) of the steps and then strive to *practice* those principles in ALL our affairs. (See Step 12)