It has been a long time since I have written a summary of our meeting as a separate blog post!
However, the meeting summaries have been becoming longer and longer. So, I thought I would post some of my ideas about Tradition 7 and the links to the playback recording from our meeting today.
07-26-2020 #184. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we continued reading and discussing the book Guiding Principles the Spirit of Our Traditions by NA up to 138:0. We completed Tradition 7, which is:
Tradition 7 Short Form: Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Tradition 7 Long Form: The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.
The spiritual principles of this tradition are: remaining free of outside influences, gratitude, self-supporting, and responsibility. Additional spiritual principles include: voluntary poverty and simplicity.
The principle of being self-supporting is not only a necessity for one’s sobriety, it is essential to our self-esteem. We experience on a personal level, what it means to live within one’s means and most importantly, with honesty and integrity.
The principle of voluntary poverty and simplicity obligates each member of the fellowship to contribute towards the financial welfare of the group. Without this obligation, we could easily revert back to our habitual character defects of selfishness and greed. Instead, we learn through the practice of this tradition to trust God and experience how He will provide us with what we need, so long as we stay close to Him and do His work well.
When we were in our active addiction, we often depended on people places and things to support us and supply us with what we thought we needed or were missing in our lives.
In recovery and through the application of this tradition, we shift from a material dependence on people, places and things to a spiritual dependence on God.
As we practice and grow to depend on God, as we understand Him, our actions reflect how we are able to tap the “unsuspected inner resource” which we receive from strengthening and depending on infinite God rather than our finite selves.
By sharing our resources, whether time or money, we learn to work together. This strength in unity allows us to feel a part of “something greater than ourselves”.
Practical application: How important in my recovery is the feeling of self-respect, rather than the feeling of being always under obligation for charity received?
Tradition Seven Affirmation– Let me remember that as God’s agents we are able to be fully self-supporting – by His Divine Grace we can be free of outside interference. He will give us all we need to do His Will.
Shira’s Prayer for the 7th Tradition: God, I humbly ask You to remove my shortcomings of selfishness and self-centeredness. May I not fall prey to the worship of other things, especially money and materialism. Guide me and protect me so that I may place my trust and reliance upon You and only You. May I trust that You will provide me with what I need, so long as I stay close to You and do Your work well.
In explaining the Seventh Tradition as it pertains to AA, the 12&12 hints at how it may benefit us personally.
“To people familiar with endless drives for charitable funds, A.A. presented a strange and refreshing spectacle. Approving editorials here and abroad generated a wave of confidence in the integrity of Alcoholics Anonymous. They pointed out that the irresponsible had become responsible, and that by making financial independence part of its tradition, Alcoholics Anonymous had revived an ideal that its era had almost forgotten.”
The seventh tradition tells me: “I can’t keep it unless I give it away.”
Although at first glance, the traditions may seem boring or irrelevant, in practice, they are very deep and meaningful.
I hope that everyone will find this information helpful!
In love & service,