Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way.”
1 Peter 3:15
Spiritual - relating to the soul or spirit, usually in contrast to material things
Awakening - a sudden recognition or realization of something
Principles - important underlying law or assumption required in a system of thought
Affairs - personal responsibilities or business
Those problems that brought us to the beginning of this journey have lost their power over us. We sense a freedom we may never have known before.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Our eyes and hearts have been opened to some simple yet powerful truths:
- We must forgive
- We are forgiven
- God provides everything we need here and now
- We have a real and personal relationship with Christ
- Through His love for us do we learn how to love others
We look back on the pain and fear we have come through and see that having “been there” ourselves now equips us to help others in a way no others could.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"
We are reborn! Every day is a new opportunity to glorify God in all we do. If we fall short, we have a 10th step inventory process to recognize our mistakes and promptly set them right. And every day is a new opportunity to come to God and seek to serve Him. We do this through prayer and meditation, ever growing in our relationship with Him. Like changing water into wine, our past problems have become strong assets as we reach out to help others suffering as we once did – a true miracle! With our newly acquired spiritual “tools” (the principles of the 12 Steps) we continue to grow in usefulness, wisdom, and understanding. We think of what we may bring to an occasion rather than what we might get from it, and we focus on helping others, as God has commanded us to do. We are not limited to our own little groups, or the church, or our homes. We practice these principles in all our affairs, advancing the Kingdom wherever we go as we are led by His Spirit. We humbly preach the gospel of love by our actions, using words only as necessary or when asked. Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
We practice this new way of living every day in obedience and gratitude. We meet with others to share our greatest gifts – God’s love for us and our love for Him – and to be there to offer our experience, strength and hope to others who may be suffering. We give freely of ourselves and that which has been given us, so we may serve as channels of His peace.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.