Step Seven

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

"Since this Step so specifically concerns itself with humility, we should pause here to consider what humility is and what the practice can mean to us."

"Indeed, the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of A.A.’s Twelve Steps. For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all. Nearly all A.A.’s have found, too, that unless they develop more of this precious quality than may be required just for sobriety, they still haven’t much chance of becoming truly happy. Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency."

Humility gets a bad rap in a world gone wild with pride. The word often incorrectly defined. The premise is just as frequently derided. Being humble certainly won’t help one win this game of life.


Or will it? We alcoholics generally have our values all mixed up. We value what’s of material value rather than spiritual value. In our constant drive to succeed, we strive for ever grander cars, homes, bank accounts. These are basic needs, we say. So what else to do but meet them?

But material satisfactions are not the purpose of living. Making them the focus of life confuses the ends with the means. We didn't regard the satisfaction of our material desires as the means by which we could live and function as human beings; we made them final end and aim of life. Consequently, we were left unsatisfied.

Yes, humility begins with a heaping helping of humble pie. We know this from taking Step One. We’ve admitted we were powerlessness over drugs and alcohol. And that admission could only come from some suffering.

As we arrive at Step Seven, our perspective on humility changes. We see bursting our own ego bubble can actually lighten our burden. That ridding ourselves of self-centeredness doesn’t mean losing our sense of self. It means increasing our sense of self-worth.

That brings us to Tradition Seven:

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

This Tradition has permitted A.A. to separate the spiritual from the material. It puts the emphasis on personal growth rather than monetary gain. Money matters nearly derailed A.A. in its early days. Tradition Seven ensures that will never happen again. If that means a group stays broke, so be it. Better out of pocket than out of sorts. Besides, with members now free to focus on sobriety, they too reap the rewards which spring from living a sober life.

We at Recovery Boot Camp are all too well aware of the great rewards which spring from living a sober life. We’re also well aware of the vital role A.A. plays in long-term sobriety. And we’ll be the first to admit that a little humility goes a long spiritual way.

(Inspired by -- and taken from -- Alcoholics Anonymous' Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.)

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