The USMC, the 12 Steps and the Bible

This week Jerry, a Marine veteran of the Viet Nam war and an alcoholic, came to speak in my classes.  Now 8 years sober (his grown daughter is 5 years clean, too), he is enjoying living “reasonably happy in this life.” 

Jerry said that being a 55 year old drunk about to lose his job helped him consider becoming open to some suggestions.  He attended a couple AA meetings and nothing has been the same since.

He found that the 12 Steps worked.  He also saw how they correlated to his Marine Corps training for addressing battlefield injuries.  Jerry said it this way:

1.       Stop the bleeding and start the breathing – corresponding to Steps 1-3.  This is done immediately on the battlefield and is foundational to saving a life – physically or spiritually.   

2.       Remove the cause of damage – corresponding to Steps 4-9.  Next, whatever caused the injury must be addressed (generally off the field in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital – a MASH unit).  In recovery it involves addressing past issues. 

3.       Promote healing – corresponding to Steps 10-12.  These are the ongoing things we will need to continue doing to live a healthy life – physically or spiritually.

While I don’t have a chemical addiction background, I practice the 12 Steps as the Biblical principles for my every day spiritual walk.  This stuff works and I am very happy to see how it’s working in Jerry’s life and family, too.

God is Semper Fidelis
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director