AA’s Second Step reads, “We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Second Timothy 1:7 (NKGV) reads ” For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The Second Step is all about hope, coming to believe that God can save us, help us, heal us, restore us. In some cases it is about believing that God can bring us to a place we have never been before; some of us have had no idea of what power, love and sound thinking is all about. We grew up with the lack of any and/or all of that; functional beliefs and behaviors are all new experiences for us.
One fundamental of Christianity is hope for a new. resurrected body after this life is over, but what about now? Can God help us in our plight for peace of mind? Can God truly give us peace with Him, self and others? That is the hope offered by the Second Step, it responds with a resounding yes, yes, yes!! God can!! Serenity Seekers therefore offers some of what we have done to bring new and added hope into our lives.
First, we have listened; we have listened to people share their experience, strength and hope in recovery meetings of all sorts. This means we have gone to many meetings and somewhere along the line a fellowship of hope sprung up around us. We listened to Christian radio of all types. We let ourselves be tutored at the feet of some of the world’s greatest radio teachers and preachers. We listened to Christian music of all types; we sang Christian music of all types.
Second, we bought the books and read them for ourselves. We studied them to make sure that what we were hearing in the meetings agreed with what we were learning in the books. We studied them by ourselves and we studied them in groups. We believed what the Lord promised, “Where two or more are gathered in my Name, there I am in your midst.” AA’s Second Tradition agrees, “For our group purpose there is but One Ultimate Authority–a Loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.” We began to see positive change in others and in ourselves; this added hope to our hope.
Third, we began to speak out in groups, asking questions and sharing what we have learned along the way. Sure, many times we got put down and criticized, but we kept coming back. We would not let go of the new hope we had found. Insult and injury was not going to keep us away from the places where we found hope, help and healing. We learned that judgement and criticism was a statement about the one criticizing, not us.
Fourth, we began to practice new behaviors in the groups themselves. If were were learning new anger management skills in the Anger Management Group, we practiced those skills in the group. If we were learning new communications skills in the group, we role played in the group until the skills were more effective.
Fifth, we stepped out in faith and began to practice those skills at home, in our extended families and in the workplace. But that is the essence of further steps. Again, the Second Step is about hope. One word about 2 Tim. 1:7; we think the word ‘spirit’ would give new meaning if it were capitalized, ‘Spirit.’ ” For God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” When looked at in this light, it reminds us that God has given us His Holy Spirit. We were born with a spirit of fear and unsoundness. We were born unloving, totally selfish and self-centered in the extreme. The Spirit God has given us is the Spirit of Who He Is. It is this Spirit that leads us into truth, peace, love, power, sound thinking and sound behavior. Let us therefore, as Paul puts it, live in the Spirit, follow the Spirit, and let God bring us to a new and living hope in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
To conclude this page, we submit some songs and hymns that give us hope. We hope they do as much for you as they have for us.
Because He Lives
Words and music by William J. Gaither
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!
And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!