In step 3 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, we read the following:
The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. Therefore dependence, as A.A. practices it, is really a means of gaining true independence of the spirit.
Prevailing modern, consumer culture says the opposite. Be free and unchained to do and be what you want. At the end of that pathway, however, are the countless many who find themselves to have been tricked. Freedom, as they had conceived it, had imprisoned them to various kinds of slavery. Slavery of financial insecurity. Slavery of incessant and unquenchable desire. Slavery of a ghost-like personal identity, both seemingly untouchable, yet also fearful to attain and be trapped by it.
Recovery and Scripture yet again speak with the same tone of voice. In Romans 6, Paul contrasts a person who is “enslaved to sin” (and thus “free from the control of righteousness”), with being a “slave of righteousness” (and thus “free from sin”).
Addiction is slavery indeed. In recovery we learn to “slavishly” work our programmes in the strength of God, our Higher (Highest!) Power. This is not self-help or self-righteousness or legalism. This is freedom in Christ. True independence of the spirit.