Is It Worthwhile to Help an A.A. Newcomer? Try it and smile!

Every time I read of some new person’s lambasting Alcoholics Anonymous, it cuts. Every time I hear a few Christian writers incessantly claiming you are on your way to hell if you help someone in Alcoholics Anonymous, it hurts. Every time, I see the new creations made by writers who insist on claiming you can choose your own god, or no god, or just go to meetings, It causes the zeal to flag.

Maybe the royal law in James has some relevance.

Maybe the selflessness of Jesus Christ and of Paul and the other Apostles has some relevance.

Maybe their commitment to daily fellowship with God, His Son, and other believers has relevance.

Maybe God’s will has lots of relevance.

But all the relevance in the world means little if you are not in the trenches loving, serving, helping, laughing, encouraging, and all the rest that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and Paul’s 1 Corinthians 13 suggest.

Then comes a day like today. Someone comes all the way to Maui and asks if he can pay us a visit. He’s new. He’s about to lose it all. He looks back on a life of horrible mistakes. And he looks like he’s licked. In fact, you can even help him see how near the end of the road might be without change.

If so, why did he come to visit? Did God have a role? Did God present us with a new opportunity? Did God offer us another chance to give substantial help and comfort to someone who still suffers?

If He didn’t, it’s no coincidence that we were talking about this very thing yesterday.

I can only say that all the doubt, discouragement, concern, and even disgust go out the window when the newcomer comes in the door. You shake his hand. You give him a hug. You listen to his story. You explain that there’s a way out if he’s had enough. You talk to him about God. You talk to him about becoming one of God’s kids. And you talk to him about recovery being the same kind of daily daily daily love and service to others that you received. And that the First Century Christians gave.

And you’re up and at em again. Is it worthwhile? You bet it is. And all the critics and charges in the world are no substitute for the great joy that inevitably follows every moment showing the newcomer what God can do for him that he isn’t doing for himself.

Then you ask him to call you every day while he’s here and get on the daily choo choo train of love and service the moment he gets back. It is worthwhile? You bet it is. I’ve enjoyed it all for quite some time, and I’m not leaving now. In fact, I can hardly wait for the next visit. And wouldn’t you know it, an email just arrived telling me another recovered believer and his wife will be here in February. Well so will I.

Sometimes it’s easier to listen to the debates on TV than to hear the negatives spewed out about A.A.

It would be easy at 25, almost 26 years of sobriety, to chuck it. To say, I’ve got mine; let him get his. Or to say, this is a selfish program, and I’m here for myself and only to keep from taking a drink today.

I’ve heard it all. I’ve read it all. Maybe the first chapter of James on temptation has some relevance.

~ * ~
Copyright 2009-2011 by Richard G. Burns, J.D.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Dick B. is a writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student,
CDAAC, and an active and recovered member of the A.A. fellowship.
He has published 42 titles and over 500 articles on the history
of Alcoholics Anonymous and on the Christian recovery movement
Contact Dick B.
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.