Many believe they know what Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is all about. They think it is just a group of people sitting around talking about their addiction to alcohol with 12 steps they work through. It is so much more than that! We share our experience, hope and strength with others and we keep coming back……no matter what. And while the 12 steps may be a simple program, that does not mean they are easy.
The AA 12 Steps are not just for addiction, they can be applied to anyone, anywhere not happy with their current circumstance(s). Just remove the word alcohol and insert something you are struggling with. These steps are a guide to help us walk a closer walk with our Lord. They can be applied to anyone in life (not just addicts) that want to truly understand themselves and be a better person to others.
AA was founded in 1935 (two years after prohibition ended) by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in Akron, Ohio. Its purpose is help alcoholics stay sober and help others achieve sobriety. The 12 steps are:
- 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.
In the future weeks, I will delve into each step (in its own post) and hopefully show how they can be applied to everyday situations we deal with in life. I hope you will join me!