What If I Don’t Believe In God?
The spiritual experiences and beliefs expressed by members of Overeaters Anonymous are as varied as those found in society at large. Some members have spiritual orientations; still others have come to OA with a history of religious conflict or do not accept the concept of God.
Working the OA program of recovery is a highly individual process. We don’t all think alike. As stated in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, page ix, “Our common bonds are two: the disease of compulsive eating from which we all have suffered, and the solution that we all are finding as we live by the principles embodied in these Steps.” This is what unites us in OA. Differences regarding a spiritual concept, or lack thereof, need not keep us from working the program. As the Third Tradition states, if we have the desire to stop eating compulsively, there is a place for us in OA. Therefore, we need not explain or defend our individual beliefs even if they differ from the majority opinion.
“I think we naturally assume people who call themselves atheists or agnostics are not spiritual people. Therein lies the basis for confusion.”
Open-mindedness is our watchword, as we read in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, page 13-14:
“OA doesn’t tell us we have to believe in God—only that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. We are invited to define that Power however we wish and relate to it in whatever way works for us. OA only suggests that we remain open to spiritual growth….“We learned we could ‘act as if.’ This didn’t mean we were to be dishonestly pious or pretend we believed in God when we didn’t. It meant we were free to set aside theological arguments and examine the idea of spiritual power in light of our own desperate need for help with our lives.”
All in all, the experiences of those who work this program with their own concept of a Higher Power show that this program does work regardless of one’s personal interpretation of that power. Clarity, peace of mind and growth are some of the many byproducts of OA’s recovery program. When we stay in the program and apply these principles in keeping with a personal understanding of a Higher Power, these rich rewards are ours! These are certainly good reasons to “keep coming back.”
For more read What If I Don’t Believe in God?, Copyright Overeaters Anonymous, Inc.
Is OA for You?
Only you can decide that question. No one else can make this decision for you. We who are now in OA have found a way of life which enables us to live without the need for excess food. We believe that compulsive eating is a progressive illness, one that, like alcoholism and some other illnesses, can be arrested. Remember, there is no shame in admitting you have a problem; the most important thing is to do something about it.
Learn more about what OA can do for you by reading About OA.
Listen to inspiring, educational interviews with health care professionals and OA members about recovery through OA’s Twelve-Step program on “Sound Bites from OA.”