One Christian's View of Step 2

It's Spiritual Not Religious

Cup of Coffee
Give the Program a Chance. © Getty Images

When I first came into Al-Anon, I already had a personal relationship with the God of my understanding. I was a Christian. My God had a name; it was Jesus.

All this talk of a "higher power" rather than "God" caused me some problems. And when I heard people say that the group was their higher power -- or it was okay to use a doorknob for a higher power if that's how you understood it -- I found that hard to accept.

And to be honest, some of it offended me.

At my first meeting, after reading some of the literature, I made the comment that I had a problem with the "higher power" references. After that meeting, a long-time member came up to me and said. "I'm not saying to forget your religious beliefs, but just put them on hold for a while and give Al-Anon a chance!"

Give it a Chance

There was great wisdom what she told me. And if she had not taken the time to tell me that I proably would have never come back and it would have been me who missed out on so much that God had in store for me.

All the wisdom, help, friendship, encouragement, and spiritual growth that I have found in Al-Anon, I would have missed because of my own religious prejudices. The Al-Anon program changed my life completely and set it on a new, wonderful path that I would have missed completely if I had walked out the door that first night.

I would have never had the opportunities to help others who were hurting and see lives changed because of it.

So, my suggestion to newcomers is the same that I received: put your beliefs, or unbelief on hold and give the whole program a chance. Because Al-Anon is not a religious program, but a spiritual one!

As it says in the preamble, "Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization or institution. It does not engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any cause. And our only purpose is to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic."


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