Step 9

Compromise: Left, Right, Or Something Else?

Which are you—left, right, or somewhere in the middle?

spectrumWe’re apparently programmed to think of nearly every aspect of our lives in terms of a linear continuum.

Politics provides the most obvious example. Left/right, liberal/conservative, red/blue. While most of us don’t reside at an extreme, we’re certainly conditioned to think of ourselves at least on one side or the other of center.

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A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels: Steps 7-9

Steps Seven through Step Nine

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson that his friend Rev. Sam Shoemaker was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.1 In 1955, Newsweek named Shoemaker one of the ten greatest preachers in the United States.2 Shoemaker was known as a great communicator, and was described by his associate Rev. W. Irving Harris as a “Bible Christian.”3

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Humility is a Two-way Street

In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known story, a frequently referenced model for Christ’s attitude of humble service to others. But there’s another side to the story.

Foot-washing requires a foot to wash.

In the story, Peter initially refuses to allow his friend and teacher to perform such a menial, degrading task. Jesus replies that submission isn’t optional—it’s an essential element in the interaction.

I don’t think that’s an accident. You can’t force someone to receive an expression of intimacy. If it’s a true act of humble service, the one whose feet are washed must submit.

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Christians Attitudes/Actions Toward One Another

      John 15:12 – Love one another
      Romans 5:13 – Don’t pass judgment on one another
      Romans 12:5 – Be members of one another
      Romans 12:10 – Honor one another
      Romans 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another

      Romans 14:19 – Build up one another
      Romans 15:5 – Be like-minded toward one another
      Romans 15:7 – Accept one another
      1 Corinthians 12:25 – Care for one another
      Galatians 5:13 – Serve one another in love

      Galatians 5:26 – Don’t provoke or envy one another
      Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens
      Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another
      Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive one another
      1 Thessalonians 3:12 – Abound in love toward one another

      1 Thessalonians 4:18 – Comfort one another
      Titus 3:3 – Don’t hate one another

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It’s Awfully Easy to be Judgmental

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~Carl Jung

He saw me glaring at him.

As he walked slowly and deliberately to his car in the handicapped-reserved space beside mine, I did everything possible to silently display my contempt. He obviously didn’t need that spot. I wanted to make sure he knew that I knew and that I disapproved.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to be the parking space police that morning. I was having a particularly hard time getting my chair situated beside my car, and I guess I wanted to vent my frustration on someone else.

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The Real Power Of Forgiveness

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis Smedes

I wrote an article advancing a revolutionary notion: Forgiveness isn’t… easy.

No kidding.

We all struggle to forgive when we’ve been hurt. That’s sort of obvious.

So here’s a question: If it’s so hard, why bother? Why go to all the trouble of forgiving?

Why not get revenge? Why shouldn’t I make that other person suffer? Why just let it go and let him get away with it?

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Forgiveness isn’t Easy

forgive Forgiveness isn’t easy. When someone hurts me, my natural reaction is not forgiveness. How can I forgive something this bad?

Have you ever heard (or asked) that question?

Forgiveness isn’t our first impulse. We’ve all been hurt, and “letting it go” isn’t programmed into our menu of responses. We want to fight back, to hurt the one who hurt us.

The common phrase “don’t get mad, get even” sounds clever, but there’s really no such place as “even.” Revenge only perpetuates a hurtful cycle. To paraphrase Ghandi, eye for eye and tooth for tooth leaves us with a world full of toothless blind people.

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God’s Plan for Us: A Family of Love

Often, those of us who struggle with issues relating to your behavior, fail to realize that recovery is a process, not a goal that once reached we think that we do not have to put out an effort. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, that he has ran a good race, and finished the course, and have kept the faith. What a wonderful statement. Paul was describing the process of life.

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