Let’s review the twelve steps. These are adapted from the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:
- We admitted we were powerless over sin—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to sinners, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
In his book ‘Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous’, Ernest Kurtz wrote:
In my nearly thirty years of experience in this area, I have come to understand that when an addict does not do these 12 steps, especially 1, 5 and 8, they almost always go back to their dependency! That is why these steps are so essential and timeless and they work if you work them!
You cannot help someone who does not want to be helped. We have to realize that for us to go anywhere in our recovery as well as in our life as a Christian we have to surrender it and our will to Him. As our Lord moves among us, He will only ask this question of those who want to be healed. Do you want to be healed (John 5:6)? He may say nothing to those who do not or will not look to Him. It has been my experience and research that most Christians may not yet have reached the place this man in John 5 had reached. They are not helpless enough yet. They are not ready to give up on human efforts to solve their problems. They have not realized their need or the plan that God has for them. They are not ready to admit they cannot make it on their own. They are still determined to get into the water by themselves when it is stirred, when they determine to do so, when it is their will-regardless of God's will.[i]