'If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.' (Alcoholics Anonymous, 95:3)
A tree provides shade. The tree does not go to the person; the person goes to the tree, although the tree is rightly in full sight. The tree does not mind who sits under it. It provides shade anyway.
When people come to me, I'll tell a story, if I have my wits about me. Or I'll say, 'I did this,' or 'this is how I did this.' They then do the 'this'. Or not. I cannot get involved in whether or not they do it. The tree doesn't care. The shade is for everyone, whether they want it or not. And if they do not want it for now, they can always come back for it later.
If someone comes to me and says, 'I'm feeling terrible because …' and I say, 'when I feel terrible, I do this,' we have a good conversation. If they come back and have not done the 'this', I will tell them a story about a man who went to a baker's to buy some bread. He did not eat the bread, because he tried a little bit and it was not to his taste. But he went back to the same baker. Why?
If I appear to be bothered whether they eat the bread … or do the work … they'll end up doing it for me not for them. If the desire does not come from within, it certainly won't come from me. I may get results with bullying, cajoling, persuasion, flattery, or any manner of other techniques. These will just be distractions, however, from the fact that that desire is not coming from within.
Not working the Steps is a pure motivational issue. The only response can be this: when I eat a meal, it is because I am hungry. If I am not eating the meal, it is because I am not hungry. There's no point in focusing on the eating/the not eating. The only question is why a famished person would not be hungry. That's a useful conversation that can be had. 'You're famished. But you're not hungry. Why would that be?'