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12 Steps and Their Biblical Comparisons

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."


1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (our addictions or compulsions) - that our lives had become unmanageable. {For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. Romans 7:18}


2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves (Jesus) could restore us to sanity. {For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13}


3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him {I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1}


4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. {When you follow your own wrong inclinations your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, idolatry, spiritism, hatred, fighting, jealousy and anger, complaints and criticism, wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties and all that sort of thing. Galations 5:19-21}


5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. {Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. James 5:16a}


6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. {Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10}


7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. {If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9}


8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. {And just as you want men to treat you, treat them in the same way. Luke 6:31}


9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.{If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Matthew 5:23, 24}


10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. {Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. I Corinthians 10:12}


11. 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. {Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you. Colossians 2:16a}


12. Having had a Spiritual Awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs. {Even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourselves, lest you too be tempted. Galations 6:1}


*The Twelve Steps are from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Bible references are from The Recovery Bible.

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