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Old 10-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Default Step Ten

About Step 10

"It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities." [Anonymous, The Big Book, A.A. World Services, 1939]

"Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. There's the spot-check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There's the one we take at day's end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due. Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual advisor, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time." [Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, A.A. World Services, 1952]

"Working the steps is a daily struggle; the Christian walk is a daily struggle. These two manners of living are the same, a common path that must be walked one day at a time. The essential nature of the daily struggle is implied in Step Ten as we continue to implement the spiritual principles developed thus far. Jesus tells us to take up our cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23). To take time away from the true path of recovery is to invite relapse and regression into active addiction." [Martin M. Davis, The Gospel and the Twelve Steps, RPI Publications Inc., 1993]
Step 10: Related Biblical Themes

* Continued Twelve Step programs are not short-term programs. Step Ten clearly suggests that these spiritual disciplines need to be practiced over a lifetime. We need to continue. In the Christian community you will find some resistance to the long-term nature of Twelve Step recovery. Some people think, for example, that the long-term character of the program represents a failure to trust in God's power to heal in dramatic ways. "God can heal you right away!" people will say, "Why have so little faith? Let God heal you now!" There are at least four points that need to be made about this.

First, there is nothing about the long-term nature of recovery that minimizes God's power. Every day in recovery is a dramatic testimony to God's power! Twelve Step recovery is a daily miracle.

Second, one of the things we learn in recovery is that the most important question about God's power is not really "how fast can God make it happen?" but rather "how thorough will God be?" If you have just had surgery for cancer your first question to the surgeons will probably not be "how long did the operation take?" The first and most important question will be "did you get it all?" Recovery is like that. It takes as long as it takes. All of us experience it as taking longer than we would prefer. But the critical question is not about speed. It is about thoroughness. Biblical texts about patience are an important correction to those who insist that the main indicator of power is speed: "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly" [Proverbs 14:29].

Thirdly, we all know that there are ways to bring recovery to an end quickly. We can stop. It's as simple as that. We are often tempted to do so. Or we can switch addictions. That can happen really fast. Instantaneous deliverance from alcohol is not that difficult to achieve if you just replace alcohol with sex, or food or religious practices. But these quick fixes do nothing to help us with the core problems we face. It is important to emphasize, of course, that God does sometimes do things quickly. An appropriate response to this is gratitude. Thank God for every little bit of recovery that comes quickly! But don't be misled into thinking that everything will happen fast. Although some of us know people who have been instantaneously delivered from a craving for alcohol, few, if any, of us know people who have been instantaneously delivered from the effects of years of abusing alcohol on their character and their family. If the only problem was the alcohol then you just stop drinking and the problem goes away. But the problem is not the alcohol. The problem is us. And we will take time to change and heal.

Finally, it is important to remember that resistance to the long-term nature of recovery may just be a disagreement about words rather than substance. There are very few, if any, Christians who will say "I don't believe in discipleship programs because they underestimate God's power to heal quickly." The word disciple is a long-term word. It's okay to say, "I'm going to be a disciple for the rest of my life." Twelve Step programs are exactly the same kind of thing. Some things are necessarily lifetime things. Discipleship is one of them. Recovery is another.

* To take personal inventory The purpose of a daily inventory is to build the practice of self-examination, confession and making amends into the basic structure of our lives. By now we have worked the program enough to recognize that we easily retreat into self-deception. We forget easily. It's like looking in a mirror and then forgetting what we look like:

"Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. " [James 1:23]

A daily inventory helps us remember who we are. If we are obsessing about things again, comparing ourselves to others, trying to control things we cannot control, then this Step offers us a kind of early warning system that the process is not on track and that we need to be diligent about the spiritual disciplines that have already helped us so much.

* Promptly The issue of promptness in admitting our wrongs is one of the elements of growth in this Step. One of the things we probably learned as we worked through Steps Eight and Nine is that postponed amends become much more complicated. This painful recognition is what will motivate us now to grow in our capacity to be disciplined about a daily inventory and prompt about making amends. This is Paul's encouragement in Ephesians 4:

"Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

Jesus made essentially the same point when he said: "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way [to court]" [Matthew 5:25]
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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