Thoughts on Tradition 8

ES&F Tradition 8

Hi Everyone!

I am truly inspired by our study of the traditions. I feel like they are enriching my program and that they have relevance in all areas of my life.

For fun (and for free) I wanted to post this week some of my ideas about Tradition 8 and the links to the playback recording from our meeting this week.

08-02-2020 #185. 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 page 156. We completed Tradition 8 and the principles are: fellowship, service, diligence and zeal.

Tradition 8 Short form: Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

Tradition 8 Long form: Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional. We define professionalism as the occupation of counselling alcoholics for fees or hire. But we may employ alcoholics where they are going to perform those services for which we may otherwise have to engage non-alcoholics. Such special services may be well recompensed. But our usual A.A. ’12 Step’ work is never to be paid for.

Practical application: Do I sometimes try to get some reward—even if not money—for my personal AA efforts?

What happens when I give with an expectation to receive a particular outcome or reward? What happens to my desire to give when I do not get the reward I desire?

Do I understand that my spiritual growth and consequently my recovery are dependent on my work and self-sacrifice for others?

Tradition Eight Affirmation – Let me remember that we were freely given our special gifts so we must share them freely, not as a professional.

Shira’s Prayer for Tradition 8: God, I humbly ask You to remove my shortcomings of pride, ambition and greed and replace them with diligence, zeal and simplicity. Please bless me with the willingness to share with others what has been so freely given to me in a spirit of love and compassion for my fellow man.  May I come to truly understand that my spiritual growth and recovery are dependent on my work and self-sacrifice for others. God, You know that I cannot do this work alone. Please grant me the discernment to know when to take action and when to ask for help, without a thought of personal gain. Thy will, not mine be done always!

Quote: Alcoholics Anonymous will never have a professional class. We have gained some understanding of the ancient words “Freely ye have received, freely give.” We have discovered that at the point of professionalism, money and spirituality do not mix. Almost no recovery from alcoholism has ever been brought about by the world’s best professionals, whether medical or religious. We do not decry professionalism in other fields, but we accept the sober fact that it does not work for us.

Every time we have tried to professionalize our Twelfth Step, the result has been exactly the same: Our single purpose has been defeated (Tradition Five). Alcoholics simply will not listen to a paid twelfth-stepper…The money motive compromises him and everything he says and does for this prospect. (AA 12 & 12: 166)

Freely ye have received; freely give.  (AA 12 & 12)

Naturally, I would love to write more on this topic, but, I feel like something is better than nothing.

I hope that everyone will find this information helpful!

Looking forward to “seeing” everyone on Sunday. Thank you all for sharing this journey with me.

In love & service,


carry the message soul


Here is the post as a PDF:

Here is a link to the page on the blog that lists all of the various Traditions Study Guides and other references on the Traditions.



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