12 Steps: Biblical Principles for an Everyday Spiritual Walk

 When I first learned the 12 Steps, I was really surprised that they did not focus on drugs or alcohol (only Steps 1 and 12 address them).  I just assumed that the 12 Steps would be 12 good things to do to quit drinking and drugging.  Instead, I was thrilled to see that the 12 Steps were really Biblical principles for an everyday spiritual walk – and, oh by the way, they will also keep you clean from drugs and alcohol.

Once I saw for myself the Biblical basis of the 12 Steps (the Biblical/Christian origin of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous has been well documented over the years), I understood why they worked so well.  It also explained why so many other groups have found the 12 Steps helpful.  So anytime a bunch of people get together and realize they all have the same problem – they just start a new group and adapt the 12 Steps to fit their particular issue.  It doesn’t matter what your problem is, the 12 Steps are Biblical principles which can empower you over your issue – chemicals, addictions or compulsive behaviors.

In recent years I compiled the following list of 12 Step groups.  You may be surprised at the wide range of issues that are now addressed by the 12 Steps

•             GreySheeters Anon (food addictions)
•             HCV Anon (Hepatitis C)
•             HIV Anon
•             Incest Survivors Anon
•             Narcotics Anon
•             Nicotine Addicts Anon
•             Overeaters Anon
•             OnLine Gamblers Anon
•             Pills Anon
•             Pagans in Recovery
•             Procrastinators Anon
•             Sex Addicts Anon
•             Spenders Anon
•             Schizophrenics Anon
•             Self-Mutilators Anon
•             Social Phobics Anon
•             Vulgarity Anon
•             Workaholics Anon
•             Alcoholics Anon
•             Adult Children Of Alcoholics
•             ADD-Anon
•             Al-Anon/Alateen
•             All Addictions Anon
•             Anti-Nutrient Addicts Anon
•             Borderliners Anon
•             Cleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anon
•             Compulsive Eaters Anon
•             Clutters Anon
•             Codependents Anon
•             Debtors Anon
•             Depressed Anon
•             Dual Diagnosis Anon
•             Emotions Anon
•             Families Anon
•             Food Addicts in Recovery Anon
•             Gamblers Anon

And then there is Celebrate Recovery, a Biblically-focused group which invites anybody and everybody with hurts, habits and hang-ups (all of the above, and then some!) to come.  I run just such a group in Frederick County, Maryland every Tuesday night  – called Recovery for a Lifetime.  For the record, those of us who attempt to practice daily Biblical discipleship are simply following the Biblical principles behind the 12 Steps.  So Biblical Christians are actually doing the 12 Steps and 12 Steppers are, in reality, practicing Biblical truth – whether we believe it or not, like it or not.  And it has always and only been that way…one day at a time.


Pastor Gary Byers

Spiritual Life Director