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The Twelve Steps

A Spiritual Journey

A Working Guide For Healing

Intoduction To The Journey

The Twelve Steps-A Spiritual Journey is a personal guide to understanding the spiritual power of the twelve steps from a Christian perspective. This material is primarily for adults who wish to get closer to GOD, but all are welcome. The Twelve Steps offer a way to grow beyond the harmful effects of a troubled life and get a chunk of piece of mind that GOD hands out. Since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, the twelve Steps have become a way for millions of people to change the course of their lives.





Twelve-Step recovery is not a program sponsored by any religious group or entity. However, people using this program find it in harmony with their own spiritual beliefs. It has no official religious affiliation. It is, however, a program that helps us to rediscover and deepen the spiritual part of ourselves. We also realize through working the Twelve Steps that our spirituality is important. We learn to live our lives according to the guidance of GOD, our higher power. We realize that the void or despair we feel is the result of our ignoring or rejecting our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ.



The foundation for this book is The-Twelve Step process. This process has helped countless individuals recover from many forms of addictive, compulsive, or obsessive behavior. This book is also a tool for writing one’s personal story of recovery. It brings together the tested wisdom of Bible truths and the proven effectiveness of the Twelve-Step principles. The material encourages self-understanding and emphasizes the unchanging love of GOD for all humanity.



The Twelve Steps-A Spiritual Journey contains scriptural passages that illustrate the harmony between the practices of Christianity and the working of the Twelve Steps. The use of Scripture provides an understanding of the Twelve Steps within a Biblical context. When used as intended, the steps are a profoundly powerful process for allowing GOD to heal damaged emotions. This book is a spiritual tool that helps us regain balance and order, and leads to us to improved health and increased happiness through a renewed relationship with GOD.



As Christians we believe that GOD reveals much of his plan for us in the Holy Scriptures. Both mature Christians and those who are just being awakened to a personal relationship with GOD can find tremendous value in the Twelve Steps. By regularly applying them to the events of one’s life, the steps become a means of enriching one’s relationship with GOD. The steps are especially powerful when used together with the regular Christian practices of prayer, meditation, and Bible study. We will discover the unique ways in which the Holy Scriptures support and expand our understanding of the steps.



Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

Overview

Those of us who participated in the writing and review of this material are recovering Christian lay people and clergy. Our belief is that Scripture and the Twelve Steps are important healing tools. We believe that if we regularly apply these tools to our lives, we open ourselves to Gods healing love and grace. Our intention is to carry the message of the Twelve Steps and Christ’s love to all hurting people.



This revised 2012 edition reflects the spiritual and emotional growth of its contributors. It is also an expression of their commitment to work their individual programs and apply the principals of the Twelve Steps to their daily lives. The foundation of each contributor’s recovery process is his or her relationship with a loving Higher Power, GOD, as personalized in Jesus Christ.



A central theme and assumption of this work is that healing is possible. To some degree or another, everyone can experience freedom fromthe damaging effects of a less-than-nurturing environment. As our wounds heal, we become functional members of the community.



Working the Twelve Steps helps us reclaim our birthright as children of a compassionate GOD. We were created in his image and have the gift of free will. The journey we are about to begin is intended to awaken us to GOD’s grace and give us an opportunity to experience peaceful and productive living. Feelings of unworthiness, anxiety, and inferiority diminish and are replaced with by spiritual strength and virtues. Focusing on our new relationship with GOD transforms our obsessive need for other people’s approval. Ourattention is, instead, captivated by the promise of new life in Christ.



The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous stress personal anonymity as a vital element of one’s recovery. “Friends in Recovery” havechosen to remain anonymous to pursue our own personal growth. We understand the importance of facing ourselves honesty and placing our confidence in the person of Jesus Christ. We offer these materials, not as an end in themselves, but as a means to developing a healthy relationship with GOD, with others, and with oneself.



Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace! That where there is hatred, I may bring love. That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. That where there is discord, I may bring harmony. That where there is error, I may bring truth. That where there is doubt, I may bring faith. That where there is despair, I may bring hope. That where there are shadows, I may bring light. That where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted. To understand, than to be understood. To love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Common Behavior Characteristics

If you can check off any of these characteristics then you might want to consider joining us.

We have feelings of low self-esteem that cause us to judge ourselves and others without mercy. We cover up or compensate by trying to be perfect, take responsibility for others, attempt to control the outcome of unpredictable events, get angry when things don't go our way, or gossip instead of confronting an issue.



We tend to isolate ourselves and to feel uneasy around other people, especially authority figures.



We are approval seekers and will do anything to make people like us. We are extremely loyal even in the face of evidence that suggests loyalty is undeserved.



We are intimidated by angry people and personal criticism. This causes us to feel anxious and overly sensitive.



We habitually choose to have relationships with emotionally unavailable people with addictive personalities. We are usually less attracted to healthy, caring people.



We live life as victims and are attracted to other victims in our love and friendship relationships. We confuse love with pity and tend to "love" people we can pity and rescue.



We are either overly responsible or very irresponsible. We try to solve others' problems or expect others to be responsible for us. This enables us to avoid looking closely at our own behavior.



We feel guilty when we stand up for ourselves or act assertively. We give into others instead of taking care of ourselves.



We deny, minimize, or repress our feelings from our traumatic childhoods. We have difficulty expressing our feelings and are unaware of the impact this has on our lives.



We are dependent personalities who are terrified of rejection or abandonment. We tend to stay in jobs or relationships that are harmful to us. Our fears can either stop us from ending hurtful relationships or prevent us from entering healthy, rewarding ones.



Denial, isolation, control, and misplaced guilt are symptoms of family dysfunction. Because of these behaviors, we feel hopeless and helpless.



We have difficulty with intimate relationships. We feel insecure and lack trust in others. We don't have clearly defined boundaries and become enmeshed with our partner's needs and emotions.



We have difficulty following projects through from beginning to end.



We have a strong need to be in control. We overreact to change over which we have no control.



We tend to be impulsive. We take action before considering alternative behaviors or possible consequences.



The Twelve Steps and Related Scripture

Step One- We admitted we were powerless over the effects of our separation from GOD-that our lives had become unmanageable.

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Rom. 7:18)



Step Two- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

For it is GOD who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13)



Step Three- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of GOD as we understood Him.

Therefore, I urge you, my brothers, in view of GOD's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to GOD-Which is your spiritual worship. (Rom. 12:1)



Step Four- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lam. 3:40)



Step Five- Admitted to GOD, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)



Step Six- Were entirely ready to have GOD remove all these defects of character.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10)



Step Seven- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)



Step Eight- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)



Step Nine- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matt. 5:23-24)



Step Ten- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall. (1 cor. 10:12)



Step Eleven- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with GOD as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will, and the power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Col. 3:16)



Step Twelve- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (Gal. 6:1)

Group Participant Guidelines

Recognize that the Holy Spirit is in charge.

• Gratefully acknowledge the Holy Spirit's presence and pray for his guidance and

direction.



Make a point of ministering love in an appropriate manner.

• Respect the needs of others by asking permission to express concern with a hug or a

touch. Many are uncomfortable with physical contact.



Focus individual sharing on the step being worked.

• Focus sharing on individual experience, strength, and hope in working the steps

being discussed.

• Allow equal time for everyone in the group to share.



Limit talking and allow others to share.

• Keep your comments brief, take turns talking, and don't interrupt others.

• Respect each person's right to self-expression without comment.



Encourage comfort and support by sharing from one's own experience.

• Do not attempt to advice or rescue them.

• Accept what others say without comment, realizing it is true for them.

• Assume responsibility only for your own feelings, thoughts, and actions.



Refrain from "cross talk."

• Cross talk occurs when two or more people engage in dialogue that excludes

others. It may also involve advice giving.



Maintain confidentiality.

• Keep whatever is shared within the group to ensure an atmosphere of safety and

openness.



Avoid gossip.

• Share your own needs and refrain from talking about a person who is absent.



Refrain from criticizing or defending others.

• Lovingly hold others accountable for their behavior only if they ask you to do so.

Otherwise, recognize that we are all accountable to Christ, and it is not our place to

defend or criticize others.



Come to each meeting prepared and with a prayerful attitude.

• Before each meeting, read designated materials and complete any written

exercises.

• Pray for guidance and willingness to share openly and honestly when you

communicate with at least one other group participant.



Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

Meeting List

Saturdays at 6:30pm

Crossing Community Church

80 Lower Silver Lake Rd, Newtown


Tuesdays at 7:00pm

Restoration Church

401 Pinewood Dr, Levittown

Get in touch

For more information contact

Dave

267.393.2155



Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace! That where there is hatred, I may bring love. That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. That where there is discord, I may bring harmony. That where there is error, I may bring truth. That where there is doubt, I may bring faith. That where there is despair, I may bring hope. That where there are shadows, I may bring light. That where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted. To understand, than to be understood. To love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.