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Our common welfare is paramount — Tradition Four

FourWith respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the trustees of the General Service Board. On such issues our common welfare is paramount.

The Fourth Tradition teaches me how to make decisions, whilst maintaining a good relationship with God and others.

I used to make decisions based on what I thought other people would think. I wanted people to approve of the decisions I was making, or even better – for other people to make decisions for me. I was dependent on others and this caused disharmony in my relationships.

I learn in AA that instead of seeking approval from the world, I need only seek God’s approval. I can practice this by asking God throughout the day what His will is for me. I then do my best to carry this out. My guide becomes the inner conscience, rather than the noise of the material world.

The Fourth Tradition also tells me that when making decisions that may affect others, I must consult with them. When I don’t do this, I am at risk of playing God in my life. Instead of trying to push my agenda, I drop the agenda, take a step back, and listen to the group conscience.

All the Traditions teach me that God’s will is revealed through the group conscience. By consulting others I get a few perspectives other than my own, I trust God by trusting the group, acknowledging the group conscience as the higher authority.

– Libby

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