STEP THREE -- BRIEF GUIDE
"MADE A DECISION TO TURN OUR WILL AND OUR LIVES OVER TO THE CARE OF GOD
AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM."
(From Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions)
1. Practicing of Step Three is like the opening of a locked door. There is
only one key, and it is called willingness.
2. Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that
we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God
into our lives.
3. The effectiveness of the whole A.A. program will rest upon how well and
earnestly we have tried to come to "a decision to turn our will and our
lives over to the care of God as we understood Him".
4. The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more
independent we actually are. Therefore dependence is really a means of
gaining true independence of the spirit.
5. So it is by circumstance rather than by any virtue that we have been
driven to A.A., have admitted defeat, have acquired the rudiments of
faith, and now want to make a decision to turn our will and our lives
over to a Higher Power. That one is God to me. No other.
6. Other steps of the A.A. program can be practiced with success only when
Step Three is given a determined and persistent trial.
7. All of the Twelve Steps require sustained and personal exertion to
conform to their principles and so, we trust to God's will.
8. It is when we try to make our will conform with God's that we begin to
use it rightly.
9. Our whole trouble has been the misuse of will power. We had tried to
bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into
agreement with God's intention for us.
10. In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause and
"God GRANT me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
(From the Big Book)
1. The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on
self-will can hardly be a success.
2. Selfishness -- self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our
troubles. So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.
3. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We
must, or it kills us! God makes this possible.
4. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or
trying with our own power. We had to have God's help. This is the how
and why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't
5. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going
to be our Director.
6. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoy piece of mind, as we discov-
ered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of his
presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the here-
7. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him:
"God, I offer myself to Thee --
to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them
may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.
May I do Thy will always!"
8. We found it very desirable to take this spiritual step with an under-
1) Alcoholics Anonymous (big book), chapter 5 - p.60 (after ABCs) thru
p.63, 3rd paragraph.
2) Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Step Three.
I'll let you absorb this for a few days then I will post the working part of step three.