Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Twelve Steps

The 12 step process of Alcoholics Anonymous is almost universally accepted as the premier method for dealing with addictions. It has been around for over 75 years and has traveled the world. As I read through the steps again I realized how some could stand alone as wisdom for those not directly dealing with addictions, but as principles for gaining moral, emotional and spiritual health.

If you are one of those who have heard about the 12 Steps, but have never read them, I am listing them below. In an attempt to make the 12 Steps more universally applicable the qualifier phrase (as we understood Him) was added.  But those of us who are Christ followers know the power comes from God alone.

The words “alcohol” and “alcoholic” can be replaced by any addiction (shopping, raging, video gaming, gambling, etc.)

It takes courage to face our shortcomings and be willing to take action. You might ask yourself which of the steps scares you the most – those are ones you probably need the most.


1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to trun our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. 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.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Copyright A.A. WorldServices, Inc.

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