The best way for me to avoid a spiritual defect is to embrace a spiritual virtue. Two of the twelve “principle or virtues” of the recovery fellowship include Step 8 “Brotherly Love” and Step 12 “Service”.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
…‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
When I see anyone in need and my heart is full of brotherly love and the desire to serve through the Holy Spirit, and I reach out in love to help others, the root of all sin, selfish and self- centeredness is extinguished. One of Bill W’s favorite prayers is the St Francis prayer, and it appears in the 12X12 Step 12 and in the AA pamphlet “Co Founders Biographical Sketches”. That prayer is an awesome way for me to ask God to help me to focus on others.
Truly, when my neighbor is in need and “reaches out for help”, not only am I following the “responsibility statement” (Whenever anyone reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there , and for that I am responsible.) ….. but he is offering me the keys to heavens gate.