|Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, NY: A.A.
World Services, 1981, p. 32.
||This Second Step has an interesting parallel with the Second
Commandment. Both are concerned with false worship.
America is said to be one of the most religious nations in the industrialized West. We
are said to be a nation of faith, and truly, there is a lot of religion and a lot of faith
in our land. But there was a lot of
religion in ancient Israel, and this was the basis for God's judgment of the nation.
Many addicts can tell you:
To clergymen, doctors, friends and families, the alcoholic who means well and tires
hard is a heartbreaking riddle. To most A.A.'s, he is not. There are too many of us who
have been just like him, and have found the riddle's answer. This answer has to do with
the quality of faith rather than its quantity. This has been our blind
spot., We supposed we had humility when
really we hadn't. We supposed we had been serious about religious practices when, upon
honest appraisal, we found we had been only superficial. Or, going to the other extreme,
we had wallowed in emotionalism and had mistaken it for true religious feeling. In both
cases, we had been asking something for nothing. The fact was we really hadn't cleaned
house so that the grace of God could enter us and expel the obsession. In no deep or
meaningful sense had we ever taken stock of our selves, made
amends to those we had harmed, or freely given to any other
human being without any demand for reward. We had not even prayed
rightly. We had always said, "Grant me my wishes," instead of "Thy
will be done." The love of God and man we understood not at all. Therefore we
remained self-deceived, and so incapable of receiving enough grace to restore us to