12 Steps

Lies Adult Children of Alcoholics BelievePremium Content

1. That I can control my emotions.
2. That I can control someone else's emotions or actions or thoughts.
3. That I deserve:

  • to get something good.
  • to get something bad.
  • to be punished for mistakes.
  • to be rewarded for perfection.
  • to be rewarded for good behavior, intentions, thoughts, feelings, whatever.

4. That I can "make" sense out of anything. ("Making" sense is not the same as "discovering" sense.)
5. That I am responsible for

  • for outcomes.
  • for other people's feelings, thoughts or actions.

6. That I am not responsible for my own actions - that it is all someone else's fault.

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Twelve Steps to FreedomPremium Content

The Twelve Steps originated with Alcoholics Anonymous in the mid 1930's. Besides being used to help alcoholics and drug addicts, the Twelve Steps have been used in support groups for family members, over-eaters, compulsive gamblers, and even for those desiring to escape from sexual addiction. These Steps formed the basis of treatment and counseling activities at New Creation Center where I served as Executive Director for ten years in the 1980's.

In the past few years, a movement recognizing the power of the Twelve Steps has sprung up among evangelical Christians concerned with those struggling with various addictions. Some believers worry that they bring secular concepts to the Christian counseling field.

From where do these Twelve Steps derive their power? The answer is very simple; from the Bible! Although following the Steps does not always bring an alcoholic (or other sufferer) into a saving relationship with Christ, they do work in overcoming addictions. This is shown by the millions of people who have found sobriety since AA's beginning. In some ways, it is very much like the businessman who succeeds financially when he makes spiritual principles the basis of his business practices.

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Re-wrting AA History and Proven Recovery PrinciplesPremium Content

Circling the Wagons to Drive Off Documented History, Unwanted Divine Aid, And Proven Recovery Ideas

The longer dissertations, government grants, academic gatherings, and religious writings attempt to describe Alcoholics Anonymous History the more they seem to swerve away from God’s power and love and from real recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous.

To be sure, candidates, government agencies, academia, and religious commentators have their place in examining the overwhelming problem of drug addiction and alcoholism. But, when they try to exclude Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible from their writings, they do little to advance the rewarding and effective grunt work involved in working with the despairing drunk and addict who still suffers.

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AA History: Looking at Its Oxford Group Link in ContextPremium Content

No facet of Alcoholics Anonymous history has been more misrepresented than A.A.'s connection with the Oxford Group. There are some relevant fundamentals concerning the relationship. But there are far more erroneous pieces of information still being promulgated by many today. Consider the following:

Yes, after he got sober, Bill Wilson became involved with the Oxford Group on the East Coast. But the real activities that brought about Bill's sobriety had little to do with the Oxford Group at and before the time he got sober. Bill actually learned the solution to alcoholism--conversion to God through Jesus Christ--from his friend Ebby Thacher and from his physician Dr. William D. Silkworth.

To be sure, Bill also learned about the Oxford Group from Rowland Hazard and Ebby Thacher. But he did not rely on Oxford Group principles and practices (their life-changing program) when he: (1) made his decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Calvary Mission in New York; (2) became born again and so stated in his autobiography; (3) decided he needed to turn to the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, for help and so stated in his autobiography; and (4) went to Towns Hospital, cried out to God for help, and had his indescribably white light experience-which included sensing the presence of God and having the thought: "Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures." .See Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. (www.DickB.com/conversion.shtml). See also Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks. And seeBill's own words in The Language of the Heart, page 284.

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Homelessness and Addiction RecoveryPremium Content

Every substance abuse counselor has probably at one time or another pointed to the "skid row bum" and said, "You don't have to be like him to be an addict or alcoholic! " While this type of person may represent only 5% of all addicts, Christians who are in recovery have a lot more in common with him than they may think!

A drive through the streets of any major city reminds us that the "skid row bum" has not disappeared. Alarmingly, he has been joined by hundreds of thousands of people now called "the homeless. " Who are they? 18-35 year old men, women who are 16-30 years of age, and single parents with children now represent the bulk of the homeless population. Most are minorities and local people, not transients, who have been homeless for one year or less. On today's "skid row" we find people who are dependent on a variety of drugs, emotionally dysfunctional, mentally ill, and medically at-risk, especially for HIV/AIDS. A high percentage of them have been sexually and physically abused.

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Biblical References for the 12 Steps (Short Version)Premium Content

Note: all quotes are from the King James Version (KJV). If you have difficulty understanding the KJV we strongly recommend that you get a copy of a more modern language Bible such as The New Life Version Bible, New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Today's English Version, The Message, etc.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctions and that our lives had become unmanageable.

--For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is
good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. --Romans 7:18-20

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Symptoms of Inner Peace

  1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences
  2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
  3. A loss of interest in judging other people
  4. A loss of interest in judging self
  5. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others
  6. A loss of interest in conflict
  7. A loss of ability to worry
  8. Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation
  9. Contented feelings of connectedness with others & nature
  10. Frequent attacks of smiling
  11. An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen

Restoration Though Making Amends (Part 1)Premium Content

If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. (Matthew 5:23, 24)

A rescue mission counselor asked me to talk with a man who had returned to their recovery program for the third time. Despite completing their program twice, he was unable to remain sober for more than a few months. Not too far into our discussion, I recognized he had not been able to develop the healthy sort of relationships essential for continued growth in recovery. Fearful of becoming too involved with others, he could not experience the joy of meaningful, fulfilling relationships. I asked him, "Have you ever done the 8 & 9 Steps?” His answer of "No” made perfect sense. Like many newly recovering people, he still carried a load of guilt and remorse from unresolved past relationships. Thus, he could not move forward with confidence to make new intimate relationships. He needed to clean up the residue of his past first.

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Biblical References for the 12 Steps (Long Version)Premium Content

Note: all quotes are from the King James Version (KJV). If you have difficulty understanding the KJV we strongly recommend that you get a copy of a more modern language Bible such as The New Life Version Bible, New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Today's English Version, The Message, etc.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctions and that our lives had become unmanageable.

--For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is
good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. Romans 7:18-20

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The 12 Steps to Total and Complete InsanityPremium Content

1. We admitted we were powerless over nothing. We could manage our lives perfectly and we could manage those of anyone else that would allow it.

2. Came to believe that there was no power greater than ourselves, and the rest of the world was insane.

3. Made a decision to have our loved ones and friends turn their wills and their lives over to our care.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of everyone we knew.

5. Admitted to the whole world at large the exact nature of their wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to make others straighten up and do right.

7. Demanded others to either "shape up or ship out".

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