Read an Excerpt
InA Hunger for Healing I described the ways in which the Twelve-Step program offers a new model for Christian discipleship and spiritual maturity. I firmly believe that the Twelve Steps are a gift that can help all of us, even those free of evident addiction, to be changed by a loving, supportive God who guides us through the pain, anxiety, and confusion of our lives and shows us how to go beyond our own selfish agendas and live a meaningful life seeking God's will. In that book, I tried to take readers inside the spiritual process of each of the Twelve Steps to taste the healing, growing experience of surrendering ourselves to a Higher Power -- to us Christians, the God of Jesus Christ.
This workbook is designed as a companion to that effort. The Twelve Steps cannot be "worked" overnight, nor can they be hurried. The self-transformation that the process entails requires a slow, careful program of prayer, meditation, study, introspection, reflection, and action. The exercises and forms provided in this workbook, in conjunction with the reading you'll do in A Hunger for Healing, will guide you slowly, carefully, and thoughtfully along the path of spiritual growth. Although this workbook is designed as a private guide, it is in no way intended to replace or lessen one's participation in the loving community provided by meetings with others on the way to recovery and a deeper relationship with God. In fact, many will find it helpful to work these steps as a part of a group gathered for that purpose.
Having said that, it is also true that experience indicates that ultimately eachperson will have to go through the steps at her or his own pace. Thoroughness is important. Speed and competitiveness are often indications of the disease.
I want to state very clearly that there is not a prescribed "correct" way to take the Twelve Steps. Each pilgrim must make many decisions about the best way for him or her. The material in this workbook and in my previous book comes from many sources and was filtered through my own life and experience while working the steps and working with others in the program.
The Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions
The Twelve Steps of Sinners Anonymous
|1.||We admitted we were powerless over our Sin -- 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 turn 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, 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 these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.|