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What is your definition of the word GOD?
October 12, 2006
10:45 am
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mj
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I was having a discussion with another member of a twelve step program about the repeated use of God in the twelve steps. In this program we are free to define our own concept of a higher power. To me, the word GOD is associated with religion. I am researching the word God and inquiring of others what their definition is as well. I believe that I am entitled to believe as I choose and so are each and every one of you. Thanks for your help.

October 12, 2006
10:53 am
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risingfromtheashes
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in 12 step - the definition of god is that it is a god of your understanding - whatever you want to put your faith into - whether it's a true god of some religion, a tree, a flower, a baby, an inanimate object, a thought, a wish, a prayer....mother nature, the tooth fairy, santa claus.

The whole point of believing in a god of your understanding is to believe that there is something "bigger than yourself" out there, that wants a good, happy life for you, that has a plan for you - that is there to comfort you and keep you safe - that you know you can turn your troubles over to.

I call my higher power "god" just cuz it's easiest, and most widely recognized, and doesn't get me looks like "oh, she's in 12 steps, cuz she says higher power"....anyway, I don't have formal religious education - I am spiritual in that I believe that "something is out there that loves me and protects me"....and I need to rely on that "force" more than I do.

You are entitled to believe in any god you wish, even a religious one.

What I think is that 12 step meetings want to keep the meetings non-denominational in that they don't want any "bible thumping" for lack of better word - but in my group, we have catholics, jewish women and atheists - and everyone is free to share what they believe in - and because of no cross talk - it does not become a debate.

October 12, 2006
11:02 am
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mj
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Thanks Rising! I appreciate your sharing and so succinctly.

October 12, 2006
11:12 am
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jastypes
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–noun 1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.

3. (lowercase) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.

4. (often lowercase) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.

5. Christian Science. the Supreme Being, understood as Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.

6. (lowercase) an image of a deity; an idol.

7. (lowercase) any deified person or object.

8. (often lowercase) Gods, Theater. a. the upper balcony in a theater.
b. the spectators in this part of the balcony.

–verb (used with object) 9. (lowercase) to regard or treat as a god; deify; idolize.
–interjection 10. (used to express disappointment, disbelief, weariness, frustration, annoyance, or the like): God, do we have to listen to this nonsense?

God
A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.

A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.

An image of a supernatural being; an idol.

One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
A very handsome man.
A powerful ruler or despot.

Not my definitions, but rather those in the dictionary. I'll post something more personal in a bit.

October 12, 2006
11:18 am
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jastypes
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I believe:

God is the creator of the universe. His name is "I am" or "Yahweh" or "Jehovah." He loves his creation. He loves me. He sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins so that I can live forever with Him. God is love. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He alone is worthy of our worship and praise.
I also believe it is possible to have a very personal relationship with Him and with Jesus Christ. I talk to Him, and He talks to me. He hears and answers prayer. If you seek Him, you will find Him.

October 12, 2006
11:45 am
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mj
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Thanks jastypes for sharing your definition of God. I appreciate it with all that you are going through with your mom.

October 12, 2006
12:29 pm
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Matteo
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mj ~ there are quite a few very different understandings of God on the thread "Matteo ... we can continue our discussion here" if you would like to look it up.

October 12, 2006
1:07 pm
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on my way
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I think the whole thing of the 12 Steps is to get one to realize that they got where they are 'on their own', but they do not have the power in themselves to get themselves back to where they need to be 'on thier own'. So it is my thought that a supernatural power is needed for that help...the whole matter of 'turning over control and power' to a Higher Power who is capable of doing that. My personal opinion is that that higher power is God, because for me, I can't think of any other supernatural power that is capable of doing for you what the 12 Steps asks of you.

Hope this helps as well,
hugs mj!

October 12, 2006
7:21 pm
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on my way
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mj,
Just thinking, and using my son and what he is going through as an example. There are cyber friends here who would disagree with my statements above, and some have made it through 12 Steps without thinking as I do, and I have so much respect for them. I believe what I beleive, but a Higher Power is differnt for everyone.

Maybe it would be interesting to ask how different people believe, and did they have a Higher Power per say when they went through the 12 Steps?

October 12, 2006
7:42 pm
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mj
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Thanks Matteo for sharing your point of view.

Thanks OMW for sharing and also for the different perspective on questions.

October 12, 2006
11:03 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi MJ.

The Twelve Steps can even help Atheists.

Inside every addict who wants to change is somebody who knows better and wants better. Most everyone has a "higher Self" inside them, and an addict who wants to change has that. The trick is to transfer authority to that Higher Self--let that part of us be the "Higher Power."

I lived with an alcoholic batterer for eleven years. The one with the guns. She was much beloved, and much feared, by just about everyone who knew her.

She discovered she was an alcoholic when she decided to stop drinking for a bit to get strong prior to a knee surgery, and started having alarming withdrawal symptoms.

She quit drinking, and she joined AA and has been an AA attendee ever since.

She changed.

She chose as her Higher Power: "Truth and Beauty."

She has been dry for about...18 years now.

And she is now a remarkably Gentle and Truthful and Beautiful person.

She was always truthful and beautiful. But now she is more truthful and beautiful. She was never a Gentle person. Now the lambs lie down with her--it is amazing.

October 13, 2006
12:19 pm
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on my way
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WD, that is a beautiful story, and thanks for telling this God-fearing soul about a different perspective. 🙂 Sometimes I am too closed. It is amazing how much we can do if the decision is made to be different. Such complex and interesting beings we all are.

October 13, 2006
12:23 pm
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jastypes
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I didn't know God when I first went to a 12-step program for drug addiction. My higher power at that time was the group and my sponsor. I was seeking God though, and now I know that He was with me the whole time. There is a 3rd step prayer in the Big Book that I learned and repeated daily. I still do. I think that helped me connect with God eventually.

Oh Lord, 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.

October 13, 2006
12:30 pm
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mj
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Thanks WD!

I appreciate all that took the time to share their definitions of God with me. Thank YOU

October 13, 2006
4:44 pm
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bevdee
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I think God might be short for GodDESS - the divine feminine.

Bevdee

October 13, 2006
4:58 pm
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mj
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🙂 Thanks Bevdee!

October 13, 2006
11:27 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Bevdee.

Well yes, the Goddess one.

I know Her.

October 14, 2006
8:56 am
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mamac
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I was in a twelve step program years ago, the word God scared me to no end. I wa brought up in a very religous houshold and I was afraid God was going to be shoved down my throat again when I started a 12 step program. I heard people talk about God and I litterally almost ran out of the room. At the time God to me meant that I would have to be perfect, and I was beginning to think that the twelve step program was some sort of religion, and that if I didn't do everything I was supposed to do I would not be accepted. That was not the case at all. I was told that yes the word God is used, but in referance to, that a person needs to beleive that there is somthing out there greater then us that understands why we do the things we do, and also, that we can not acheive the goals we need to acheive all by ourselves. Somone even said to me heck if you are afraid of God let the doorknob be your higher power, then later if you start to beleive in another power change it. It was an unusual approach I realize, but for me it is what I needed to hear, because ot me at the time God was asoociated with judging, fear , and many rules no man could possibly live up to, or abide by. In time I found the God I beleive in today, as long as you follow the steps, one at a time, at your own pace, you will find your God also. Remember when they speak of God in twelve step it isn't trying to turn you onto religion, it is simply trying to get you to see that there is somthing greater then yourself out there and you are never alone. Remember to have good support system in the program, that is one of the most important things, people that know what you going through. Of course anywhere you go good and bad people are there. Just find the ones who aren't trying to get somthing out of you and you will be okay.

October 15, 2006
8:54 am
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mj
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Thanks mamac!

October 16, 2006
11:00 am
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StronginHim77
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God is a Person Who created me for intimacy with Him. He likes hanging out with me, having me talk to Him, lean on Him, seek His advice and support in my daily struggles and decisions. He comforts me, heals me and guides me. I could not make it without His love and mercy. He even sent His Son to die in my place, so that I could be reunited with Him.

October 16, 2006
12:02 pm
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mj
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Thanks Strong!

October 19, 2006
10:21 pm
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justhinking
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I know all my life I believed in GOD and up to date going through the roughest time of my life, with his help and strength I am able to carry on. my mom tried also to keep me close to church since she was so religious and yet I find myself not going near a church and reading the bible and feeling such serenity.
But one question for those who have been in programs. How do you support someone for something you have been against all your life? It is so hard and I try my best to support my husband since he is a drug attic. and I want to belieave him so bad but I can't.

October 20, 2006
11:06 am
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mj
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You listen without judgement. You work on the things you can change, Yourself. When I focus on me, my relationship improves because I am not judging.

My Higher Power is My HP. No one can define it for me. Its up to me to feel safe with what ever I chose.

October 27, 2006
8:54 am
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mj
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I am still not sure of what the God of my understanding is. I know that some energy exists that makes miracles in my life when I call on it. I pray and my prayers are answered. Yesterday I felt alone. By the end of the day, I knew I wasn't.

October 27, 2006
9:14 am
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mamac
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the God of your understanding will not come to you all at once, just take it day by day. As you grow as a person you will begin to see. Don't get to far ahead of yourself or you can slow down recovery. Follow every step in order. And just keep praying and thanking and put it in his hands... take care

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