“The best the earth has to offer is not big enough or good enough to rescue us from ourselves,” writes Dr. Dennis F. Kinlaw in a Christian explanation for why most of us need grace, whether we are alcoholics or not. Interestingly, his view echoes the words, My Creator, which launch AA’s seventh-step prayer:
Modern people have tried every earthly source to solve their problems: government, education, economics, social sciences, psychology and psychoanalysis…. [Yet] our only true hope and our only sure help is in the God who made heaven and earth.
Similarly, we alcoholics who are also Christians may need to take seventh-step restorations to lengths that other alcoholics sometimes ignore. Oswald Chambers explains in My Utmost for His Highest the purity that Christ offers through grace:
Jesus says if you are My disciple you must be right not only in your living, but in your motives, in your dreams, in the recesses of your mind. You must be so pure in your motives that God Almighty can see nothing to censure. Who can stand in the Eternal Light of God and have nothing for God to censure? Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that by His Redemption he can put into any man His own disposition, and make him as unsullied and as simple as a child. The purity which God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within, and that is what Jesus has undertaken to do by His Redemption…. Jesus does not give us rules and regulations; His teachings are truths that can only be interpreted by the disposition he puts in. The great marvel of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that he alters heredity. He does not alter human nature; he alters its mainspring.
Little did I know, in 2001, how thoroughly God would use AA’s twelve steps to remake an alcoholic like me from within. But that’s precisely what God did. And He used circumstances that offered a new way of life to me, one that I would never have chosen. I’m an alcoholic in recovery who—nine years ago—began a career in foodservice that started as a dishwasher in a restaurant-bar. Not coincidently, foodservice is an industry where workers rank among America’s heaviest abusers of alcohol and/or other drugs. Thus, I entered the proverbial refiner’s fire when I first completed the twelve steps, then started my job as a dishwasher….
Copyright © 2009 by Randall E. Greene