Sharing or shunning? Joining or judging?

Draw from others the lesson that may profit yourself.
–Terence

Our Twelve Step program offers us the best education in the world, free of charge. Everybody in recovery has something to teach us, if we’ll listen. Each of us has a unique set of experiences and background, problems and solutions to share. From each other we can learn about recovery and about the world, too. We can hear what it’s like to live on the streets, even if we didn’t lose everything to addiction. We can learn how others got their families involved in a Twelve Step program of their own. We can learn about the problems we may encounter at work, how to avoid them, and how to solve them. We can hear from someone who has been there, rather than through relapse, how it feels to be addicted to another substance.

The experience of others gives us a rare chance to broaden our horizons. We can learn how it feels to be a member of a minority, how to love ourselves enough to combat hatred, how to triumph from adversity. Most important, by listening to others with respect and love, we can learn to truly value other people, even those who are different from us.

Today help me appreciate the teachings of my Twelve Step program. Help me continue to learn.

I read this and as it applies to my ‘recovery’ I understand it totally…when I began Al-anon many years ago, there were many wise voices around the table sharing what it was like to have a spouse addicted. I hadn’t a clue…my qualifier was a child. As time went on, I asked God to help me help others in my situation and He has placed many people in my path with whom I have shared my experiences, problems and solutions.

But as I read this devotion this morning, my mind was more on my church family than on my recovery room family–although I believe every single person on the planet could benefit from the simple program of Al-anon and those 12 steps.

But back to my church family…are we taking advantage of other members experiences, backgrounds, problems and solutions……….OR…….are we all up in arms because we don’t do it THAT way or we’d NEVER do it that way. Do we shun those with more colorful backgrounds for fear their ‘wild’ side will rub off on us? Are we sincerely interested and willing to be involved in their problems or are we so wrapped up in our problems we cannot see or hear what is going on in the person sitting next to us on the pew? Do we share our problems with each other and really listen to the solution that worked for them? True, their solution might not work for us…but then again, it might.

My ‘recovery’ program, with God’s help every step of the way, helped me to change my attitude about so many things; allowed me to truly turn my will and life over to the care of God, taught me to tend my own side of the street and leave my neighbors business alone and taught me to ACCEPT THOSE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE…and there are a lot of those things.

Yep, I have my own opinion. Yep, I am not afraid to share that opinion. I also know that my opinion is just that, my opinion…it isn’t always fact, it isn’t always the best way, it is just my way as I see it at the moment. That could change given a change in circumstances or even another day’s growth!!!!

God, help me to shine your light on my own life today, exposing those things that need changing and improving on those things that are good.

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