Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt. Alcoholics Anonymous pg 62
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18 NLT
Father God, I thank you for this day. I pray Father that you would free me of the bondage of self and remove any jealousy that has entered my heart. I pray Father that I would walk in your wisdom and maintain an attitude of humility. Help me to be gentle at all times and with all people today knowing that you show no favoritism nor should I. Help me to full of mercy and good deeds and to live my life to honor you. In Jesus Name, Amen!
It’s amazing to see that after years of sobriety people in these rooms can be so easily decieved into believing they are doing just fine. Their lives are on track, their defects not as glaring but the selfishness is still firmly rooted in them and they don’t see it. Most of their time is now focused on their new good life and they have tricked their hearts and minds into believing that this is not selfishness but self-love. Now don’t get me wrong there is a time when we must learn how to love ourselves but this is not what I’m referring to. What I’m referring to is the lack of selflessness that comes from reaching out to help others out of the alcoholic pit. It seems that many AA’s are satisfied with their lives after working the steps, making amends and having restored relationships that they forget about the true message of AA. That its because many people shared sobriety with them that they can now have a restored life. They forget that the message of Alcoholics Anonymous is to be carried to those still suffering. Their sobriety is maintained at a mediocre level because they lack the joy and faith that comes from working with others. I have many people tell me that they want what I have but they never get it. Its because they lack the one thing that I refuse to give up and that is working with others. I’ve actually had them turn down people and tell them to call me instead. They aren’t realizing that they are turning down an opportunity for growth and handing it off to me which I gladly accept. I’m so grateful that people were there to answer the phone when I called. I’m glad that the meeting was always open and that there was always someone to chair the meetings I attended. I understand that when I first came in that I need d to accept help and soak it all in but there comes a time in sobriety when we must step up and start giving back. This is a sign of true maturity, the ability to let go of self so that someone else might be helped. To continue to be a taker and hang on to our selfish nature is not a sign of spiritual growth. We grow spiritually when we reach out and help others. Am I still rooted in selfishness? Am I still mainly concerned with myself and my life or am I concerned about others and how I may be a blessing to them?
Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be. BB pg 79
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 NLT
Father God, thank you for my sobriety and my life. Father, I pray that you would give me strength and direction to do the right thing and not shrink back when it gets hard. Help me to remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I thank you Father for the harvest of blessing that is on the way. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead. A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won’t fill the bill at all. Alcoholics Anonymous pg 83
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matthew 3:8 NLT
Father God, thank you for my sobriety. Help me to walk the walk today and not just talk the talk. Help me to show by my actions that I’ve changed. I pray that you would grant me courage to change those things about myself that I can. In Jesus Name, Amen.
We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. Alcoholics Anonymous pg 19
In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them. Philippians 2:14-15 NLT
Lord, I thank you for my life and my sobriety that you have given to me. I pray Father that you would help me to demonstrate the principles I have learned in my life today. Help me to not be an arguer or complainer today but to speak words that encourage others. I pray that my actions and words would be a blessing to those around me and that they will see your glory working through me. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. Alcoholics Anonymous pg 55
For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. Romans 1:19-20 NLT
I thank you Father God for revealing yourself to me. I thank you that I know you are the Living God. I pray Lord that I may help others to see you and to know you. Bring people across my path today that I may bear witness to them about your love and saving grace. In Jesus Name, Amen.
I’ve been doing some studying in the Big Book and of course have seen things that I’ve never seen before. Working with people in the program who relapse has caused me to ask lots of questions. What’s missing? In Chapter 3 of the Big Book it uses examples of three people and their thinking before a relapse. This is a great place to start. The first 100 had experience with relapse and they noticed some commonalities about the thinking that precedes the first drink. All three had several things in common. They all knew about their condition for two of them it was alcoholism and for the third-jaywalking. They also had been told of the solution. So, the alcoholics knew about alcoholism and had been shown the program of AA and told how it works and the Jaywalker was told not to jaywalk. Jim had made a beginning in the program. Fred met with an alcoholic once and gathered information. Both men had knowledge. Both men failed to enlarge their spiritual life. They knew the program and were aware of their condition and of the solution BUT the idea to drink, jaywalk won out. Their knowledge could not keep them sober. The BB goes on to tell us that we cannot stop on the basis of self-knowledge. How many times do we see people come into the program stay sober for a time (just like the story of Jim) and then relapse several times in succession. Each time they return they announce that they know how the program works and know how to do it and this time it will work but they continue to relapse (much like the jaywalker). The reason is that you cannot stay sober on the basis of self-knowledge. All the knowledge about AA, about the steps, about the Big Book will not keep you sober and the two alcoholic examples in Chapter 3 tell us this. The Big Book says we have no effective mental defense against the next drink, it must come from a Higher Power. No effective mental defense means we can’t think our way out of a drink. No matter how much we know about alcoholism or about how much we can lose if we drink, the insane idea to drink will win out. We don’t have the mental defense to combat those thoughts and we have to rely upon God.
In the Chapter Working with Others it says on pg 98- “..Job or no job-wife or no wife-we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God. When we rely on our own knowledge we are putting our faith and dependence on ourselves and what we know instead of placing our dependence on God. Lack of knowledge has never been our problem. Lack of power is our problem and God is the source of the Power that we need.