I am blessed.
That might be an odd first sentence for a post with the title “Addiction Epidemic,” but it’s true.
It’s true because people trust me with some of the most serious areas of their lives. That’s quite an honor.
And the thing that keeps coming into my office is . . . addiction. That’s what people bring to me when they trust me with the most serious & urgent areas of their lives. Addictions of all kinds: to drugs, gambling, porn, alcohol.
With that in mind, here are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
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.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
There’s a lot of Gospel there.
I believe pastors and church leaders should be aware of and in conversation with recovery groups and recovering people. Because there seems to be no end in sight for the addiction epidemic.
The great thing about the church is that we have a name for the “God of our understanding” from Step Three. We try to help people understand God as the Father of Jesus.
Like I said, there’s a lot of Gospel there. Because we are all powerless over something.