A.A. – Step 3

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Surrender and Accept

Note, that God is not defined here. A full definition of God is not so easily attained, nor is that the issue. The point here is to do something radically different than worshipping our drug-of-choice, and ourselves.

White Flag of Surrender

It is to turn our life over to that “higher power” mentioned in step two so that we can move upward in life. Remember, we have already decided that without the intervention of a higher power, we are without hope.

This is not a matter of knowledge, but a matter of trust. For some, it is a matter of desperation.

Surrendering Soldiers

When soldiers surrender on a battlefield, they are actually doing the first three steps all at the same time!
1. They admit they are powerless to ensure their survival.
2. They admit that there is a way to survive.
3. They turn their lives over to someone who might help them survive.

Hoping to find compassion and continued life, they surrender.

We have said that the higher power MUST exist, or we have no hope. Now we allow that ‘higher power’ to take the reins of our life. We take a step toward trusting something or someone other than our drug of choice.

The other part of this step is to stop being so self-serving. Rather than doing what we want when we want because we want, we slow down and consider others around us. We start to consider long-term results and consider what is ‘best’ from another point of view.

That, for some, is very, very hard to do. You may have heard the phrase “Let Go and Let God”. That’s this step in a nutshell.

You may have heard the phrase, which is related to this step, saying, “Put Jesus on the throne of your life.” For some, that’s what this step is about. Let’s remember, that there’s a very good reason for not defining “God” in this step, and just trust the process that has helped so many others.

Lastly, I absolutely love the idea of using the phrase “God as we understand Him”. Even members of any established religion may have the faith to admit they don’t know everything about God. They have an “understanding”, or a “picture” of God, but none of us have our understanding be 100% accurate. We all know we have much, much more to learn about God!

This is not the time nor the place to be judgmental.

Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!

The Steps

  • Introduction
  • Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Step 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove our shortcomings.
  • Step 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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