“A Christ-centered approach to recovery and coordinating small group meetings”
“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
This step separates those who are serious about recovery from those who are playing games. At first glance, it appears to be the easiest step and maybe it can be dispensed within just a few moments. Not so! This stage doesn’t require us to take any action as such. We don’t even have to make the actual decision as outlined in the next step. We “just” have to become ready.
We have already surrendered our lives generally in step three. Perhaps the major problems like drunkenness have already been lifted from us as a result of the work we have done so far. However, we now have a list of specific things in our lives that are out of order and we need to decide what to do about them.
This list of character defects (or sins if you prefer) is those areas in our lives of which we are still in control. We are our own gods in these areas and we need to become willing to turn them over to the care of the Lord. The list could include pride, lust, laziness, greed, envy, gluttony, anger and self righteousness.
Our specific defects could include over?working, over?eating, gambling, lying, grandiosity, manipulating and other obsessions. The Lord requires our ongoing cooperation by us being willing to let these things go.
This step requires a degree of faith. Why go through the effort of being willing to have our lives completely overhauled if nothing is really going to happen? The answer is that God has proved Himself by making things happen for others. We are not so unique or bad that we are beyond the Lord’s ability to transform.
Another concern that we might have is that if we let these things go what will be left? Some of us wallowed in our character defects so much that they became a big part of who we were or who we thought we were. Some of us “reveled” in our badness. If we let this stuff go what will there be left? The answer is the beautiful creation that the Lord intended us to be.
The thought of taking a step to put these things behind us could easily invoke the grieving process. Even though these things caused pain and suffering in our lives, they were very familiar to us and it hurts a little to let them go. It is still a loss even if it is a loss of who we thought we were.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that this is an important step in obtaining in actuality who we really are. How many of us have pondered the question, “Who am I and what am I doing here?” This is an important step in giving God permission to reveal the real us.
King David was a man after God’s own heart, but he was steeped in defects of character including murder and adultery. None of us have committed an offense greater than this Old Testament king. If there is hope for him there is hope for us. King David went on to pen:
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
God loved King David and restored him. He Loves us and will heal our lives if we do our part!
Our part is to yield and cooperate. His part is to do the “transforming.” (Romans 12:2)