Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives
over to the care of God as we understood Him.




Hi friends.

My name is Shlomo and I am a food addict and compulsive overeater. When I first began working the steps I had a lot of troubles with each step.

In step one I had trouble accepting that I had trigger foods and that I could not help myself.

In step two I had trouble in accepting that the solution can come only from H.P. and of course I had trouble in accepting the insanity idea.

Having overcome that, I had a lot of trouble with step three, especially since I didn't pay attention to every word of this step and tried to shorten it to one sentence. My step three was, "I turn myself over to God." I think I heard that sentence a lot in meetings and adopted it as step three.

I could not be more wrong.

"How do I turn myself over to God," I asked, and what does it mean?

"Just turn yourself over," I was answered by people in meetings. "Well, I don't know how to do it and I cannot do it," I said, "So maybe something is wrong with my first two steps, maybe I should go back and start over."

So began the waltz routine 1, 2, 3, and 1, 2, 3, repeatedly. It seemed that a lot of us were dancing this waltz, going around in circles and getting nowhere.

My sponsor saved me from that complication. (See how important is the help we get from a sponsor? So if you still have not got one by all means hurry and get one.) My sponsor told me that the only way I can turn myself over to God is to drop dead, since then my soul goes to meet God, but our program is a program for living and not a program for dying.

The third step means something entirely different. First, it is a decision step. "Made a decision." A decision is not action, it is only a decision to do something. The doing comes after making the decision so the doing comes after step three and not in step three. That makes things a lot easier.

Now let us see some definitions of words from the 1939 Webster dictionary. (The year they published the first edition of the Big Book).


Life (lives): An individual's actions. The manner of one's existence.

Will: Thinking. The faculty by which a person decides.

Will power: Control exercised over impulse; self-control.

Willing: Cheerful intention; gladly ready (to act).

Now let us see what the decision is in step 3:

" turn our will and our lives over to the care of God..." or in more plain language 'to turn my thoughts and my actions to God's care' Not to God, but to His care. Even this was not clear enough for me but Bill W., the A.A cofounder, put it even more simply in his story.

BB page 14: "I must turn in all things to the Father of Light that presides over us all..."

So I decide to turn in all things (thoughts, and actions) to God and ask God to take care of me and guide me. Could I do that at the stage I was in at step 3? Well, maybe I could decide, but I sure could not carry it out yet, There were still a lot of obstacles that were blocking me from conscious contact with God, and from His guidance. But that was ok since no one asked me to carry out anything in step 3.

The Big Book also tells us when we are ready to take step three. Here are three pertinent ideas that sum up our step 1 and 2, page 60:

"(a) That we were compulsive eaters and could not manage our lives.
"(b) That probably no human power could relieve our compulsive eating.
"(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

"Being convinced WE WERE AT STEP THREE."

Convinced of what?

Of (a), (b), and (c), which are a summation of the first two steps, Very simple to understand. So there should not be any time delay between taking steps 1, and 2, and taking step 3.

The Big book goes on to explain why we should take step 3 and what are the requirements from us in order to take step 3 , and even how to take step three. This is why the Big Book is the textbook of the steps. But on this in my next share.


1. Just to emphasize the difference between deciding and acting on the decision, share about 2 decisions in your life that were not carried out and one decision that was carried out or is carried out. The examples should be connected to our disease and to the 12 step program.

2. In the past you probably turned to God in some things but to no avail. Share about some of them, why do you think it didn't work?

3. If you worked the steps in the past maybe you performed the OA dance of 1, 2, 3, repeatedly. In that case please share on what caused you to do that, and how you got out of it (if you got out of it).

Have a nice day.


Step Two

Step Four

WTS Home
The Twelve Steps
Recovery Home

Copyright 2002 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved