I found a set of notes from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting which takes the 12 Steps of A.A. and summarizes them in a way that applies to anyone with any kind of a problem which they cannot overcome. Alcoholism. Workaholism. Gambling. Over-eating. Worry. And the list goes on.
Twelve steps from dying to living:
1. Honesty: I cannot handle this alone, and it is stupid to think that I can.
2. Hope: God is able to handle this, and it seems reasonable to trust Him to do so.
3. Trust: I’m out of things to lose, so here goes.
4. Courage: I am scared, but I must learn the truth about myself.
5. Risk-taking: I have to share this with someone I can trust.
6. Surrender: Here I go–all the way–once and for all.
7. Humility: I have failed to handle this alone by my own wits, so I need to reach out for help.
8. Responsibility: No one is to blame for my actions but me.
9. Making amends: I need to make peace with others I have offended–with God, with those I have hurt and with those who have hurt me.
10. Perseverance: No matter how much this hurts, I have to stick with it anyway.
11. Awareness: My ultimate accountability is to God, then to others.
12. Self-denial: I will give away the grace which God has given me to others.
Now for the other side. Just as there are twelve steps for gaining victory, there are twelve steps for defeat.
Twelve steps from dying to death:
1. Self-deception: I can’t handle this, but I’ll keep it hidden and survive anyway.
2. Despair: Why trust God? I’m supposed to be the master of my own fate and the captain of my own soul.
3. Cynicism: There’s nothing to gain by trying to change. Who cares anyway?
4. Fear: My lies are causing enough pain. How can I handle the truth?
5. Shame: There is no way I am going to open up to anyone about this.
6. Stubbornness: I will die before I give in to the pressure to change.
7. Arrogance: Me admit that I am one of “them”? Never!!!
8. Resentment: It is not my fault that I am the way I am–someone else made me be like this.
9. Contempt: They deserve whatever grief they got from me. It is not my fault.
10. Laziness: It is just too much trouble to try to change the way I am.
11. Denial: Actually, there is nothing wrong with me. I do not need their help.
12. Greed: Whatever good I get is mine. I do not owe anyone anything.
There it is. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:23. So, what do I intend to do about what weighs me down.