An AA sister shared, “We go to sponsors for advice in AA, and only AA advice.”
Wise sponsors restrict their advice to the 12 Steps. We are not experts on good relationships, success at work, or winning in finance.
“We are often divorced, fired, and bankrupt. If anything, we are anti-expert; we know what not to do.
“There is one thing that we do know: the Steps. Sponsors should remember the adage, ‘shoemaker, stick to your last.’ The Steps — that is what we know.”
The next fellow picked up on the theme and shared, “I agree, the only reason we are talking with a sponsee is the Program; the Steps are the only solutions we should offer.
“And there is more. I should pay attention to my language. I should stick to the Steps and be grave, not try to be funny. I must remember, my humour might be taken literally. Let me share one story of a sponsee’s poor sense of humour and lack of discernment.
“A sponsee asked me for marriage advice. Feeling sarcastic, with a solemn tone, I told him, ‘I remind myself every day of my job in our marriage; I should provide my wife with opportunities to demonstrate her spiritual values. Values like unconditional love and forgiveness.
“To fulfill this duty, I do things that allow her to demonstrate loving forgiveness; I should be slightly irritating and difficult to achieve this goal. This does not come naturally to me; I must work at it. I have found it helpful to remember the Three C’s of marital happiness; I must Criticize, Coach, and Correct.
“My sponsee thought for a moment and, demonstrating a level of trust in my advice that was both flattering and misplaced, said, ‘I have not heard about the Three C’s. Thanks, that sounds like a great tip. I will try it out.’
“I realized that he was taking me literally and planned to use the Three C’s in his marriage. I had to explain that I was joking.
“Remembering this story, I stick to the Program and the Steps when dealing with sponsees.
“Stick to the Steps; you will never go wrong. And keep it simple and serious. Never count on a discerning sponsee.”