The Twelve Steps – a Year Long Spiritual Journey: Step #1: Humility
A wise person once said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And at the beginning of this New Year at Overcomers Outreach Canada, we have decided to devote this entire year to journeying together through the Twelve Steps – one step for each month. And it seemed fitting that I would share this with you here on my blog as well.
Stephen Arterburn says: “The 12 steps are based on biblically-based principles like acceptance, confession, honesty, accountability and service. According to Dr. Bob S. and Bill W. founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, these principles were gleaned from the Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the book of James, among other passages. The principles were developed into 12 steps that have helped and offered hope to more addicted and abused people than any other program.” (forward to Overcomers Outreach: A Bridge to Recovery by Bob and Pauline Bartosch).
It is for that and many other reasons that the Overcomers Outreach ministry has adopted these 12 steps as a means for people finding freedom in Christ. So allow me to begin this year-long journey with an introduction to Step One:
Step #1: “We admitted we were powerless over (our sin or addiction) – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
This first step is perhaps the most important one in our entire journey because you cannot heal or change what you don’t acknowledge! Until you admit that you are powerless over your sins or addictions, you will never turn to God for help.
The Biblical basis for this step is found in Second Corinthians 1:9: “We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves, but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us.”
I can relate well to the importance and necessity of this step when it comes to recovery. I went through a very challenging and dark season of life about four years ago, when I was hurt by some people that were very close to me. However, for the longest time, I didn’t recognize that something was wrong. Or maybe I just didn’t want to admit it. But ignoring the pain didn’t cause it to go away. It wasn’t until I realized how unmanageable my life had become as a result of this pain that I finally made the decision to get help. And it came in the form of my first Overcomers Outreach 12 step recovery meeting.
“Our spiritual journey begins with our acknowledgment of powerlessness. We learn through the pain and unmanageability of our lives that we cannot control our lives or the lives of others.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).
First Step Prayer:
Today, I ask for help with my addiction. Denial has kept me from seeing how powerless I am and how my life is unmanageable. I need to learn and remember that I have an incurable illness and that abstinence is the only way to deal with it. Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).
- Chris Jordan
- President and Executive Coordinator of Overcomers Outreach of Canada