12 Steps

Studying the 12 Steps

What is it you want to study?

There are many ways to study the Twelve Steps.

One is to memorize their language. Another is to note that the "published" 12 Steps are not themselves the "steps we took." Hence, you can and should study the instructions as to "how" to take the Steps; and only when you have followed the instructions successfully, can you say that you have "taken" a Step-i.e. made an inventory, made amends.

A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels: Steps 10-12

Step Ten through Step Twelve

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson that his friend Rev. Sam Shoemaker was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.1

And you can find almost exact parallels between the language Bill Wilson used in the Big Book and the language Shoemaker wrote in his many Christian books, articles, and pamphlets. Sometimes Bill's parallel language is found in the instructions of the Big Book for "taking" the Steps. Sometimes his language is found in the Steps themselves.

A.A. - Christian Recovery Program Observations

Different Strokes for Different Folks

“Christian Recovery” probably means very different things to various fellowships, groups, organizations, and individuals. And recognizing diversity is the first step toward tolerance and effectiveness.

Seven-Point Summary of Original Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” Program

The essence of the A.A. program was, and still is, helping the alcoholic who still suffers by carrying to him a message of what God has done, and can do, for him—if he wants that help and diligently seeks God. The lesson is that the first three AAs soon wanted to develop a program for others coming after them. Others who would, like they, be or become Christians, and diligently seek God’s help. To carry a proper message, and effectuate miraculous recoveries like their own, the first AAs developed some very definite practices that were used by the early Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship.”

Change Requires Choices

Proverbs 2:1-5 NRSV>
My child, if you accept my words
and treasure up my commandments within you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;

if you indeed cry out for insight,
and raise your voice for understanding;
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it as for hidden treasures --
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

I was having a discussion with a woman online one day. She was explaining that she had this (sinful) compulsion and had dealt with it over and over again. She wasn't really distressed about it, just simply saying that this was who she was.

Do You Have Control?

Matthew 26:39 NKJV
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

It struck me, the other day, that the ultimate sin -- the foundational mindset that causes us to sin -- is a matter of control. We sin because we want to control... to control our circumstances, to control those around us, to control our future. We win because we want some thing rather than being willing to let God and trust God to give us what He wants.

Take Your Time and Easy Does It

All to often, people fail in their recovery attempts only because they were in a hurry. Even in recovery...things take time.

For alcoholics and addicts, it is especially true that difficulties play an enormous part in our lives. They call forth our power, our strength, and our energies as nothing can. But when clean and sober, sometimes they strengthen character.

Get to a Meeting

If you want to remain clean and sober, I suggest that you get to a meeting, and frequently.

Early in my recovery, there was one thing that I did tire of – the act of defending myself. I was so occupied with convincing others that I was not using, it seemed certain that I was. So, in the hopes of eliminating that annoyance, I started going to meetings. I chose to do doing something that came highly recommended – I began to just listen. I'm not saying that you shouldn't share, but in the beginning just sit quietly and pay attention. The first couple of meetings may surprise you. With the exception of one or two, the people around you look normal, healthy, content, satisfied, and to some degree – successful. They do not look like winos, drunkards, junkies, or residents of skid row.

Christian A.A. Days and the Unchanging God

A.A. Founders' Descriptions of God Before the 1939 Compromise

As Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson described it, a battle took place over the wording of Bill's proposed Twelve Steps. It occurred as the Big Book manuscript was being readied for the printer. Four people were present: Bill Wilson, Bill's partner Henry Parkhurst, John Henry Fitzhugh Mayo, and the secretary Ruth Hock.

Cofounder Bill and the other Cofounder Dr. Bob Smith had consistently and many many times described Almighty God in terms that plainly came from the Bible, the Bible that both men had studied as youngsters in Vermont, and the Bible that was taught to them in their Sunday schools, daily chapel, and the Vermont Congregational Churches of their youth.

A.A. Bible Refresher: Steps 8 and 9

The making of amends and restoring for things wrongfully taken are rooted in the Bible. And there are particular verses from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, from the Gospel of Luke, and from the Book of Numbers that provided what Dr. Bob was later to state were the basic ideas studied by A.A. co-founders long before the Steps were written and the Big Book was published.1

Making Amends and Restitution Is a Vital Part of Recovery Fellowships

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