Genuine Christianity is more than a set of beliefs–it is a relationship with Jesus Christ that involves hearing His voice and following His directions.
But how does one do this? What tools or spiritual disciplines enable Christians to live out their lives in dynamic submission to God’s will? Perhaps no set of principles is better suited to help Christians hear God’s voice and submit to His will than the Twelve Steps.
As a Christian who practices the Steps, Saul Selby knows them to be an invaluable tool for living out the Christian faith. Selby brings his knowledge to bear in Twelve Step Christianity, which teaches Christians in recovery to connect their faith with their program–and shows any Christian a clear path to a more intimate relationship with Christ.
Laid out in a workbook format, with room for readers to write answers and track their progress, Twelve Step Christianity explores the roots of Twelve Step spirituality, examines the connections and distinctions between Christianity and Twelve Step programs, and offers readers a deeper and broader understanding of the myriad of powerful reasons for applying the Twelve Steps to their lives.
Here is an opportunity to listen in on fascinating conversations with people who found God when they didn’t really want to and weren’t even looking.
Through a series of deeply personal interviews with individuals from different walks of life, the authors conduct a captivating discourse on discovering a "higher power."
The interview subjects are not proselytizers, nor are they interested in comparing spiritual states. Their stories are neither tidy nor definitive. What they offer, however, is a remarkable, refreshing, and ultimately satisfying mosaic on the meaning and manifestation of God.
“I need somebody to love,” sang the Beatles, and they got it right. Love and health are intertwined in surprising ways. Humans are wired for connection, and when we cultivate good relationships, the rewards are immense. But we’re not necessarily talking about spine-tingling romance.
The twelve-step recovery model of AA: a voluntary mutual help association
Alcoholism treatment has evolved to mean professionalized, scientifically based rehabilitation.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is not a treatment method; it is far better understood as a Twelve-Step Recovery Program within a voluntary self-help/mutual aid organization of self-defined alcoholics.
The Twelve-Step Recovery Model is elaborated in three sections, patterned on the AA logo (a triangle within a circle): The triangle’s legs represent recovery, service, and unity;
The circle represents the reinforcing effect of the three legs upon each other as well as the "technology" of the sharing circle and the fellowship.
The first leg of the triangle, recovery, refers to the journey of individuals to abstinence and a new "way of living."
The second leg, service, refers to helping other alcoholics which also connects the participants into a fellowship.
The third leg, unity, refers to the fellowship of recovering alcoholics, their groups, and organizations.
The distinctive AA organizational structure of an inverted pyramid is one in which the members in autonomous local groups direct input to the national service bodies creating a democratic, egalitarian organization maximizing recovery.
Analysts describe the AA recovery program as complex, implicitly grounded in sound psychological principles, and more sophisticated than is typically understood.
AA provides a nonmedicalized and anonymous "way of living" in the community and should probably be referred to as the Twelve-Step/Twelve Tradition Recovery Model in order to clearly differentiate it from professionally based twelve-step treatments.
From; Borkman T. The twelve-step recovery model of AA: a voluntary mutual help association. Recent Dev Alcohol. 2008;18:9-35.
Physical well being is inseparable from emotional well being. Happy people are healthy people. The wisdom traditions of the world tell us that happiness does not depend on what you have, but on who you are. Let’s take a moment to reflect on what really creates happiness in us.
The following ten keys, gleaned from the wisdom traditions, may give us some insight.
Listen to your body’s wisdom, which expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body, ‘How do you feel about this?’ If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, watch out. If your body sends a signal of comfort and eagerness, proceed.
Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have. Keep your attention on what is here and now; look for the fullness in every moment. Accept what comes to you totally and completely so that you can appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go. The present is as it should be. It reflects infinite laws of Nature that have brought you this exact thought, this exact physical response. This moment is as it is because the universe is as it is. Don’t struggle against the infinite scheme of things; instead, be at one with it.
Take time to be silent, to meditate, to quiet the internal dialogue. In moments of silence, realize that you are recontacting your source of pure awareness. Pay attention to your inner life so that you can be guided by intuition rather than externally imposed interpretations of what is or isn’t good for you.
Relinquish your need for external approval. You alone are the judge of your worth, and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. There is great freedom in this realization.
When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts. When you relinquish this anger, you will be healing yourself and cooperating with the flow of the universe.
Know that the world ‘out there’ reflects your reality ‘in here.’ The people you react to most strongly, whether with love or hate, are projections of your inner world. What you most hate is what you most deny in yourself. What you most love is what you most wish for in yourself. Use the mirror of relationships to guide your evolution. The goal is total self-knowledge. When you achieve that, what you most want will automatically be there, and what you most dislike will disappear.
Shed the burden of judgment you will feel much lighter. Judgment imposes right and wrong on situations that just are. Everything can be understood and forgiven, but when you judge, you cut off understanding and shut down the process of learning to love. In judging others, you reflect your lack of self-acceptance. Remember that every person you forgive adds to your self love.
Don’t contaminate your body with toxins, either through food, drink, or toxic emotions. Your body is more than a life-support system. It is the vehicle that will carry you on the journey of your evolution. The health of every cell directly contributes to your state of well being, because every cell is a point of awareness within the field of awareness that is you.
Replace fear-motivated behavior with love-motivated behavior. Fear is the product of memory, which dwells in the past. Remembering what hurt us before, we direct our energies toward making certain that an old hurt will not repeat itself. But trying to impose the past on the present will never wipe out the threat of being hurt. That happens only when you find the security of your own being, which is love. Motivated by the truth inside you, you can face any threat because your inner strength is invulnerable to fear.
Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence. Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a portion of this intelligence resides in you, you share in the organizing power of the cosmos. Because you are inseparably linked to everything, you cannot afford to foul the planet’s air and water. But at a deeper level, you cannot afford to live with a toxic mind, because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence. Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the Earth.