The colloquialism “walk the talk” reflects Step 12. Step 12 says, “Having a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all affairs.” We now have the final stop on the road map to recovery.
Christians immediately see the parallel in this Step to Jesus’ final instruction to his disciples watching his return to heaven. We label that God’s “Great Commission”: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28: 19-20a NIV. The concept of disciple in Jesus’ language connoted creating a mirror image or in modern vernacular a clone. Baptism represented declaring a public identity with those that also claimed Christ.
I see this as an example of God’s universally applicable wisdom. God knew how to “grow a good thing.” The purpose behind the AA founders creating the Twelve Steps lie in detailing a road map for recovery for alcoholics in any location and for all times just as Jesus did for Christ followers with the Great Commission. Seventy Five years of countless worldwide recovery stories for all kinds of addicts indicate a pretty good map! CLUE: The wisdom and tools of these twelve steps help you overcome any “hurt, habit or hang-up” you subject to being “Stepped on.”
Simple outline—just like the Great Commission. We taught you how it works—obey those teachings while you go tell and show others how it works. Now GO! The essential elements of this plan are incorporated in successes in the business world, the spiritual world and the self-help world where AA lives. It’s a plan to not just survive, it’s a plan to thrive for us and the disciples touched by our disciplining relationships.
Throughout this series of blogs, we have made a point of God’s beneficial universal wisdom to anyone that chooses to apply it—believer or not. We note that The Twelve Steps did apply God’s wisdom and state that their success validates that wisdom. We have made mention that some stumble over an acknowledgement that God powers their recovery. God has thick skin! A denial of God does not change God’s nature towards any. God’s laws and grace prevail to serve even those that choose not to find a way to God. We encourage all in the struggle of recovery. We don’t want to slow any with meaningless arguments. Our hope for you would be that when you find your chosen path blocked you will allow yourself to try another path that might bring you recovery. We want you and our world to benefit from that recovery!