The Twelve Steps

1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We 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 a result of those steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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Step One: Dangerous Self-Deception

Bible Reading: Judges 16:1-31

We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.

When we refuse to admit our powerlessness we are only deceiving ourselves. The lies we tell ourselves and others are familiar: “I can stop any time I want to.” “I’m in control; this one won’t hurt anything.” And all the while, we are inching closer to disaster.

Samson was one of Israel’s judges. As a child, he had been dedicated to God and God had gifted him with supernatural strength. But Samson had a lifelong weakness—the way he related to women. Samson was especially blinded to the dangers he faced in his relationship with Delilah. His enemies were paying her to discover the secret of his strength. Three times she begged Samson to tell her his secret. Each time she set him up and tried to hand him over to the enemy. Three times Samson lied to her and was able to escape. But each time he got closer to telling her the truth. Finally, Samson revealed his secret, was taken captive, and died a slave in enemy hands.

Samson’s real problem can be found in the the lies he told himself. By not admitting his powerlessness, he remained blind to the obvious danger that his pride and desire for beautiful foreign women were leading him into. This caused him to gradually inch his way toward an untimely death.

We need to be careful not to fall into a similar trap. As we learn to acknowledge our powerlessness over our addictive/compulsive tendencies daily, we will become more aware of behaviors that will likely lead us to destruction.