Step Seven says : Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
By now, we have done a tremendous amount of work in recovery. We have abandoned the illusion that we can fix ourselves and we have surrendered to a new way of thinking. This step is a bit like lying in a sick-bed. Our old behaviors, attitudes, and relationships have caught up with us and we lay wounded, with self-inflicted injuries, in need of healing. We know and recognize there is no self-help or self-will that is going to get us out of this bed. Step Seven is a picture of us lying helpless in that bed, helpless and humbled, asking God to remove the shortcomings that have made us unwell.
Humility is a repeated theme in recovery and it is central to this step. This concept is easy for people to twist and misunderstand. It has been confused with weakness, shame, and isolation. It is none of those things. Humility is a choice to be strong in spirit. It is a spiritual quality that silences self-will and self-sufficiency. It is an attitude in which we choose to see ourselves holistically – the good, bad, and ugly – and recognize we are neither the best nor the worst. Humility allows us to be authentic and to see that we are simply human and it opens our hearts toward God.
We have been in a place where we have been trying to drive this train for quite some time. Our self-propelled efforts have landed us neck-deep in addiction. Those attempts have brought of broken relationships, loneliness, financial troubles, legal problems, health issues, job loss, , heartaches, and a host of other problems. We very well have even tried our hand at fixing ourself through religion. In the midst of our addiction, we turned to God to try to stop our addictions. We tried Bible studies, serving opportunities, church gatherings, prayer meetings, small groups…and none of those have brought us freedom from our addictive behaviors. In all of this, we have been playing God and trying to find the right recipe to fix ourselves. All of these things have been our own plans, strategies, and efforts that we depended on to get better. They have been masked with strong effort, good intentions, and even God’s name, but they are nothing more than selfish attempts at what we wanted when we wanted it and on our terms. Despite any good intentions or beliefs, our pride and ego pushed God out of all these attempts.
Step Seven asks for us to let go of all our tactics at image and behavioral management and to develop our spirits by humbly asking God to do His part. God is a gentleman and does not force Himself on anyone. He patiently waits for us to come to a place where we are ready to let Hm in and let Him work. We hold the key to our hearts and we have to place that key in His hand for Him to do His work. The great news is that He is not only able to free you, but He deeply desires it! Let your heart and soul hear these words about God from the prophet Isaiah..
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts….I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway!
The last six steps have been preparing us for this one that is all about letting go. Let’s do some work in our notebooks today and dive a bit deeper.
- How have I defined humility in the past? How do I define it now?
- How have I relied on my self-willed attempts to fix myself? What were the results?
- How have I relied on self-propelled religious activities to remove m character defects? Results?
- Do I see the need to let God do His work in my heart? Explain.
- Have I ever demanded God to change my circumstances for my benefit? When?
- When and how have I been impatient with God’s timing and process of change in my life?