The more you grow spiritually, the more you will want to serve others in ways that enhance their spirituality. Service may mean a commitment to worshiping in a way that fits your own beliefs. You may want to go back to your old church and religious denomination. If you return, you will have a new outlook and greater awareness. If your preference is a church that emphasizes the liturgy and sacraments, you can participate in the commemoration of the mighty acts of God as you understand God. You can exprerience yourself as part of the past and part of a living tradition.

Service also means caring for others and giving back what you’ve received. The Twelfth Step urges us to carry our spirtual awakening to others who suffer the “toxic shame” of a dysfuntional background. All of us who have come out of hiding need to bring the light to others. Carrying the message is done by modeling, not by moralizing. It is done by those who “walk the walk as they talk the talk.” This means that there are no gurus. There are only those who have walked a little further down the path.

Service and love for others flow directly from service and love for ourselves. I love the motto of the Dominican priests: “To hand on to others what you yourself have contemplated.” We truly cannot give what we haven’t got. We cannot teach our children self-valuing if we continue to be shame-based.

Service is a true mark and fruit of spiritual growth.

Prayer: As I grow in my recovery and my faith, Lord, help me to give to others out of the riches you’ve given me.

-John Bradshaw- excerpt taken from John 13:12-17  NIV Recovery Devotional Bible

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