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Twelve Steps to Sobriety Meeting
September 30

Complete reading of Step from the Twelve and Twelve on the AA.org web site:


For the Greeter:    http://www.e-aa.org/chat/eaa_chat_reading.php?ID=46

"Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" copyrighted by AA World Services, Inc. and  reprinted with permission.

Step Three 

Twelve and Twelve Pages 38 - 39

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we under­stood Him.”

So how, exactly, can the willing person continue to turn his will and his life over to the Higher Power? He made a beginning, we have seen, when he commenced to rely upon A.A. for the solution of his alcohol problem.

By now, though, the chances are that he has become convinced that he has more problems than alcohol, and that some of these refuse to be solved by all the sheer personal determination and courage he can muster. They simply will not budge; they make him desperately unhappy and threaten his new­found sobriety. Our friend is still victimized by remorse and guilt when he thinks of yesterday. Bitterness still overpowers him when he broods upon those he still envies or hates. 

His financial insecurity worries him sick, and panic takes over when he thinks of all the bridges to safety that alcohol burned behind him. And how shall he ever straighten out that awful jam that cost him the affection of his family and separated him from them? His lone courage and un­aided will cannot do it. Surely he must now depend upon Somebody or Something else.

At first that “somebody” is likely to be his closest A.A. friend. He relies upon the assurance that his many troubles, now made more acute because he cannot use alcohol to kill the pain, can be solved, too.

Of course the sponsor points out that our friend’s life is still unmanageable even though he is sober, that after all, only a bare start on A.A.’s pro­gram has been made. More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life. 

That is just where the remaining Steps of the A.A. program come in. Nothing short of continuous action upon these as a way of life can bring the much-desired result.

End of reading

TM updated for September 30

Next week begins here.

Then it is explained that other Steps of the A.A. program can be practiced with success only when Step Three is given a determined and persistent trial. This statement may sur­prise newcomers who have experienced nothing but constant deflation and a growing conviction that human will is of no value whatever. They have become persuaded, and rightly so, that many problems besides alcohol will not yield to a headlong assault powered by the individual alone. But now it appears that there are certain things which only the indi­vidual can do. All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willing­ness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can make the decision to exert himself. Trying to do this is an act of his own will. All of the Twelve Steps require sus­tained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to God’s will.

It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the mis­use of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us. To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.
Once we have come into agreement with these ideas, it is really easy to begin the practice of Step Three. In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause, ask for quiet, and in the stillness simply say: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Thy will, not mine, be done.”

End of Reading

TM updated for September - October  ... Step-3
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