Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
In today’s Castimonia meeting we reviewed Step 12 from the Twelve Steps for Christians and the SAA Green Book.
A friend of mine in recovery sent me the following story:
A man falls in a hole. The sides are steep and he can’t climb out. He looks up and sees a doctor walking by. He asks the doctor for help. The doctor writes out a prescription, throws it down the hole, and keeps walking. The man in the hole thinks, “how is this supposed to help me?” He looks up again and sees a priest walk by. He asks the priest for help. The priest writes down a prayer and throws it down the hole. Again, the guy wonders how that is supposed to help. Finally, he sees his friend from the program walking by. He asks his friend for help and his friend climbs down in to the hole. The man says, “hey, what did you do that for? Now we’re both in the hole!” His friend says, “Yes, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”
Only an addict can help an addict. Having had that spiritual awakening that comes from working the preceding 11 steps, my life turned from being completely dependent on the help of others to wanting to help others, wanting them to feel the freedom I have felt, a freedom that came from being helped by others and surrendering to Jesus Christ. Since I had been down in the hole before, I am now able to help others out through a proper recovery program. I desire to help others out!
The scripture that goes along with this step is a very important part of the 12th Step. I am to comfort those in trouble with the comfort I myself received from God. My comfort came through working the 12 steps and learning a new way of life that placed God, not me, at the center of it. Therefore, I have chosen to help others come to a spiritual awakening in Christ Jesus, just as my sponsor (and others in the program) helped me. The comfort I received from God was a knowledgeable and caring sponsor, friends in the program, and men (and pastors) from my church that helped me along the way. God purposely placed those men in my life! I choose to allow God to use me, as He will, to help other men coming into the program recovery from sexual impurity or compulsive sexual behaviors.
One of the biggest benefits I experienced from working a secular 12-step program in SAA was that it allowed me the choice of who or what my higher power would be. It allowed me to choose Jesus Christ, not just have it placed in front of me. It then allowed me to learn more about Jesus, to read the Bible, to learn all I could, to attempt to understand all I could. This process continues today!
With the spiritual awakening also comes an attitude of gratitude. We are grateful for what God and others have done in our lives. We are grateful for all the good things that have been given to us, and we are grateful for the freedom we experience one day at a time. We stop living a “white knuckling” life and start living a life full of gratitude that revolves around our all-powerful God. With this newfound gratitude, we begin to have a heart of giving, wanting to help others, desiring to help others out of their hole. We learn to do this with our higher power at the helm of our own recovery and allowing those new to recovery the opportunity and adventure of discovering the “highest power,” Jesus Christ! We take the message of recovery to others and continue to practice it in our own lives.