1. “Our common welfare should come first. Personal recovery depends upon God’s grace and our willingness to get help.”
Unity – we place the common good ahead of personal desires (ours or others’)
Our common welfare is the existence of the group. If there is no group, there is no help. This suggests the need for regular attendance (“showing up”) in support of the group. It is by God’s grace in us that we achieve and maintain personal recovery. His grace works in and through us when we help and support one another. Our willingness to get help recognizes our continued need for His word and the encouragement of others, which leads us to continued participation in the group, avoiding doctrinal or other personal disputes for the good of the group.
The common welfare of groups is the existence of Overcomers Outreach as a whole. Just as individuals need to feel a part of the group, so groups should feel a part of Overcomers. Unity encourages groups to look beyond their own little worlds to the common needs of Overcomers worldwide. By working with other groups in the spirit of cooperation and support, we join together for our mutual well-being, ensuring that Overcomers will be there for others willing to get help. As we look beyond our individual and our own group’s interests, we see the common welfare of Overcomers should come first if we are to grow in unity.
A solid relationship with God is the foundation of unity in any personal relationship at home, work or everyday affairs. His will and guidance allows us to be more able to participate in healthy relationships. Unity requires cooperation, willingness, honesty, unselfishness, humility, and open-mindedness to be practiced on a personal basis. We honestly listen to others with open minds and share views with others. We become flexible when we stop insisting our own way is the only way.
Consider these questions:
- Am I flexible?
- Am I a giver or a taker?
- Do I gossip?
- Do I walk away when others begin to gossip?
- Am I gentle with those that rub me the wrong way, or am I abrasive?
- Am I quick to criticize? Slow to praise?
- Am I as considerate of others as I want them to be of me?
- Do I listen when others have something to say?
- Am I a peacemaker or is it critical to my ego that I be right?
- Am I patient and tolerant of those who offend me?
As the group observes the first tradition, individuals are introduced to the existence of a “common welfare” and soon learn the importance of placing the common good first. This is a key element of service to others. Seeds of humility, unselfishness and purpose are planted, and the concept of “unity” – being a part of something and sharing a common goal, begins to blossom.