In steps ten through twelve we will lay out exactly what we need to do now that we have begun to live our lives as servants of God. These steps are essential in coming into and maintaining a fit spiritual condition. Let's look at what we need to do if we are to begin to serve our heavenly Father.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
The big book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes step ten as follows:
This thought brings us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. Pg 84
Step ten is the beginning of what is referred to as the maintenance steps, steps ten through twelve. The reason that these steps are referred to as the maintenance steps are because by now I have been practicing these steps as I began to clean up the past and I have developed a lifestyle that is in accordance with the will of our Creator.: A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, "a design for living" that really works. Pg 28
As with anything material whether it be a house, car or tool I need to take some preventive maintenance as I learn how to properly operate it or keep it in the best condition that I can. Once I know how to use it or get it to the right condition I need to continue to do the maintenance that is necessary to keep it in it's best possible working condition.: What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Pg 85
Step ten is a continuance of the fourth step: Referring to our list again. Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man's. Pg 67 In step four I began to see what being selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened could do and how it caused me to react when I placed my dependence upon myself. I also came to see how resentment when left to fester blocked me from God.:It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. Pg 66 I now know that resentment is the number one thing that causes me to turn away from what God would have me do and leads to all sorts of spiritual wickedness.: Resentment is the "number one" offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. Pg 64
Now that I know what selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear are capable of I need to rely on my maintence steps to keep me in the best possible spiritual condition that I can be in. Let's look at exactly what step ten is all about.
Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up,...Pg 84 So as I go through my day I am going to continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. There are two key words here. The first is watch! I am not going to look for them I am going to watch for them to crop up. There is a subtle difference. If I am watching for rain to begin I am aware of the possibility that it will rain and I am going to still be conscience of what is going on around me so that I can continue to do whatever is in front of me, but I will be able to recognize when it starts to rain. If I am looking for it I am now directing all my attention to seeing the rain. Looking back at and directing all my attention to seeing it is an eleventh step direction and we will address that in step eleven.
The second key word is when. This direction says When these crop up. I am a human and am flawed in all areas of my make up. I clearly came to these conclusions when I did my inventory and step five. To the best of my ability I am now trying to live according to how God would have me instead of how I would want to. These character defects or selfish behavior are going to continue to manifest themselves. That is why this way of life must be maintained and I must constantly strive to stay as spiritually fit as I can.: We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. Pg 84 Not only do I strive to know Gods will through His word, I must also look for the things that block me from God and do my best to stay close to Him so He can remove them from me as they crop up.
The basic text gives us explicit directions that work if done properly. Let's look at them.: Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. Pg 84 So as I am watching throughout my day and something crops up that is contrary to Gods will I Ask or pray for God to remove them. For example I am at work and I am focused on doing the best I can to get the job at hand done safely and correctly. For whatever reason I become agitated and angry. As soon as I recognize this The first thing I do is ask God to remove this from me because I know that this blocks me from Him and inhibits the use of His Power. Then: We discuss them with someone immediately... Pg 84 I will discuss this with someone who is living the life that I am now living. This does not mean that I drop what I am doing to run to a phone and call my sponsor. I can talk about this at the first chance I get. Next and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Pg 84 If I have harmed anyone I am going to go to them and let them know that I recognize that I was wrong with the way that I acted. And see if I can be of help or right the situation.: Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code. Pg 84 Finally I am going to turn my thoughts to how I can be of help to someone. Not half heartedly but resolutely. This means that I am going to firmly or decisively set my mind on how I can be of help to someone. As we practice this principle we will see this process happen in a matter of moments, and not always in this order. But it is essential. My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Pg 14
Most times when I struggle throughout my day, and I will struggle at times, I will come to see that it is because I have gotten into a rut where I am not watching for the things that block me from God. The basic text calls this resting on our laurels or past spiritual accomplishments.: It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Pg 85 This is easy to do, that is why I have to be ever mindful of what it is that I am doing and what is going on around me. I must continue to grow and that is done by striving for spiritual perfection.
I know that what I have is one day at a time, staying in the moment. I can't allow myself to be taken into hypothetical tomorrow or to dwell in the past for too long. God has given me the free gift of His grace and His mercy and I need to use that gift for His good and His glory.: Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will. Pg 85 We have talked about The use of our will or directing our will to do Gods will not ours. Every time I turn around I am at a place where I stand at the turning point. I must always choose to direct my will toward doing Gods will. By the time I have gotten into the last action step, step nine, I have already begun to feel a closeness with our Creator. I have begun to tap into real Power! I have begun to be guided by Him in ways that I have never even imagined were possible. Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. Pg 85
I have begun to have a spiritual experience. I may have had glimpses of total peace and serenity but now I am seeing that I have developed a lifestyle that is like nothing I have ever imagined was even possible. God is guiding me and I am depending and relying completely on Him to show me what He would have me do. In doing this my life has taken on a whole new meaning.
But we must go further and that means more action. Pg 85
Let's move on and look at step eleven.