Clinging to Character Defects


Only one has ever walked among us that had no character defects. For the rest of us, we must make concerted efforts to minimize the damage these shortcomings can, and will, cause. Clearly, this is yet another undertaking that is beyond human power. We have to rely on God. Becoming entirely ready to give up these personal “enhancements” (AA Step 6) and then humbly asking God to remove them (AA Step 7) is actually more difficult than it may seem. On the surface it would seem that we’d eagerly ask God to strip us of such negative and problem causing traits. Control was just such an issue for me. It was the source of a great deal of strife in my life resulting in frustration and anger which, of course, fed my alcoholism. Who wouldn’t want to “take the edge off” when feeling like that … right? Upon entering recovery the control issue quickly surfaced and, to be honest, I have been relieved with the results of God removing (most of the time) this weight from my life. HOWEVER, there are other shortcomings that I am apparently quite comfortable with and I am uncomfortable without them.

A Practical Example

For some reason I am one that tends to move toward the fight, fire, argument, disturbance, controversy, noise, anger, frustration, … you get the idea. Most people move away from these situations. I don’t! I understand this fuels my angst and angst fuels my alcoholism. Again, who wouldn’t want to “take the edge off” after … that! Reborn in recovery I am better about this but I have not let go completely nor have I asked that God relieve me of it all. Stubborn, aren’t we. Even though I absolutely know that I cannot afford to be fired up about anything for very long without compromising my recovery, I still, to this very day, wake up in the morning, fix a nice cup of coffee, and then sit down in front of the national news and get REALLY riled up first thing in the morning. This behavior defies logic but it is very human. Were I a moth I’d be starting each day with a good flame. I need to fall back to Step 6 and become entirely ready for God to remove this character defect and then I need to let Him take it away (Step 7).


This is real life recovery and I don’t believe it matters if any particular addiction is involved. Character defects are a fact of our humanity and we either get God’s assistance with them or we do not. The middle of the Serenity Prayer asks God to give us the courage to change what we can. We can only change ourselves, my friends, and everybody else has to handle the job for themselves. The first step is knowing that we can’t do this alone. We have to draw upon God’s power. The quality of our life and the life of those around us depends upon it.

2 Responses to “Clinging to Character Defects”

  1. Vicki says:

    WOW!!! First time I’ve found, seen or read your blog!!! I will be a follower of your blog from now on!!! Rick and I have sat behind you at church and I’ve noticed you typing away,… I know THE REST OF THE STORY!! (kinda) 🙂 -vicki-

    • admin says:

      Welcome to my little written environment, Vicki. I “outed” myself several years ago and have run a couple recovery groups right here at Harvest since then. As I wrote on the main Recovery Homepage, my views don’t necessarily reflect Harvest Community Church so I’m grateful Pastor Brian trusts me to speak my truth on these pages. I try to post a couple times a week but I let my thoughts and reflections arise organically as I attend my groups as well as Sunday service. I wont’ be there this coming Sunday, however. I was asked to be a guest speaker at “Sponsors” and I was more than happy to comply. I’m a monthly speaker at Serenity Lane, too. I REALLY enjoy these service opportunities.

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