Sunday, June 3, 2007

False belief or true conversion?

Thanks to a World Magazine column from May 19, 2007, I got to go back to 1944 and see what Alcoholics Anonymous believed in the beginning.

It seems all we hear today is that people need to believe in a “higher power” (however they understand that). It could be Santa or the Easter bunny, doesn’t really matter, just look beyond yourself and admit you need help. Well it is good to admit you need help but a fantasy is no good in real life.

Here is what Step 3 of the 12 steps said in the first pamphlet written in 1944:

We made a decision that we needed to come under new management since our own management got us nowhere. So we turned our wills and lives over to the care of our new manager—Jesus . . .

(At this point both of you get down on your knees. The sponsor says: "Jesus, this is ______(name). He realizes that his life is messed up and unmanageable. ______(name) is coming to You Lord in all humility to ask to be one of Your children—to work for You, to serve and dedicate his life to You and to turn his will and life over that he may be an instrument of Your love."

Newcomer responds: "Lord, I ask that You guide and direct me, and that I have decided to turn my will and life over to You, to serve You and dedicate my life to You. I ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ.")

That’s not just words, it’s coming to Jesus, turning your life over to Him and being converted.

I remember my friend and I sitting around before my conversion and discussing that it would be a good idea if we quit smoking pot for a while. We thought if we did, the high might be better after. We never got around to it. Things changed in 1973 when Jesus came into my life. In addition to deliverance from drugs, many other things dropped out of my life. There was power to change and I was glad.

It’s not just that we believe, but what or who we believe in that makes the difference. Thank you Jesus for changing my life.

Philip

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