Promises and Fruit
Twelve Promises of AA
“1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. 2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. 3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. 4. We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace. 5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. 6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. 7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. 8. Self-seeking will slip away. 9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. 10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. 11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. 12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
—The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholic Anonymous World Services, Inc., 4th edition, 2001).
Do you see any similarity between the promises of a twelve-step program and the nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Paul writes that we know and feel we are connected to the Spirit, the God within us, if the consequence, the fruit, of what we are doing produces “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” The twelve-step promises and the fruit of the Spirit can both serve as guides—benchmarks indicating to us whether we truly are on the right track—if we are connected to the God of our understanding, the Christ, the Spirit within us. When two disciplines tell me a similar truth, I begin to believe and pay attention to this truth.
We are especially called to look for the fruit of the Spirit as we approach Pentecost this week. The fruit are our guides, our mentors, telling us we are staying connected to the Spirit, the God, within us. The promises also are indicators for those in recovery that they are staying connected to their higher power.