Fish or cut bait?

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

th-9

Something tells me it’s time to either get serious about this 12-step thing or drop it. I feel like I’ve been dancing around this for at least a week, maybe more. I don’t think anybody’s rubber is meeting their road, at least mine isn’t. So far this spiritual walk-through of the twelve steps hasn’t cost me anything. Nothing’s changed; and isn’t this supposed to be all about change? Isn’t it about changing the things we are powerless against? 

I’m waiting for some real AA people to just knock us over the head here pretty soon and say, “What are you doing? Is this just a game? Are we being cute here?”

I will admit to the fact that my interest in the twelve step program has primarily been the model of vulnerability, honesty, and real struggle with one’s life out in the open where everyone can associate with it. I wanted us to get that. But I never intended for it to get this personal.  Now I’m realizing we have to change; we have to give up something. I feel like I’m still holding onto my whoopee blanket. Honestly I haven’t given up anything yet. Have you?

Here’s what I want you to do, and since we are going through this together and you may not be ready for this step, I’m not going to tell you what to do; I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do, and you can decide whether you want to do it with me. I’m going to go over my inventory list and pick out one thing I want out of my life that I am powerless to change — some unhealthy dependency that I want God to remove. Then I’m going to humbly ask Him to remove it. And then, something that isn’t a step but is an important part of the program: I’m going to find a sponsor — someone who would be willing to hold me accountable to this commitment — someone outside of myself that would be willing to meet with me or talk with me on the phone on a regular basis to see how I am doing, and someone I can call when I’m tempted to give in. And if you don’t have anyone who could be a sponsor for you, let us know. We have people available to step in. Of course, knowing all along that we can do nothing without the Lord, and I don’t mean the Lord’s help, I mean the Lord doing it!

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7 Responses to Fish or cut bait?

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Great read Pastor John about needing & be willing to ask 4 help… I’d be open 4 a sponsor to help me with my angry & swearing issues… That I’d like to stop doing…
    PS I believe you & Marti have my phone number… So someone cud contact me…

  2. Ken Langley says:

    There are no coincidences. I’ve been struggling with the 6th & 7th steps over the last several days. Praying for awareness of my defects, willingness to change and the humility to ask God to remove them. Of course, being an alcoholic, I wanted instant gratification. What is actually happening is a gradual change. The awareness came first. When a character defect surfaced, God made me immediately aware of it. I ask God daily, sometimes hourly to help me with the willingness to change. Now that is beginning to slowly happen. Now the big one, humbly asking Him to remove my character defects. Some of them are pretty tough to let go of. They are such a big part of me, but I’m going to trust God to carry this out. By the way, I highly recommend to anyone interested in steps 6 & 7, to pick up a copy of “Drop The Rock”.

  3. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Oh GOD! I am not the guy that uses a club and hits people with it. LOL (We have them), Sorry I am Jesus Aguilar and yes I suffer form the illness of alcoholism and today by the Grace of God I was granted a reprieve.
    First — We do not embark in the twelve steps without sponsor.
    It is not about to change the things that we are powerless from. It is about admitting to our innermost selves that we are powerless. At this moment we cannot even change our dirty under pans, much less change some glaring character defect.

    Here is something that is necessary in the fourth step and not even me notice it until today.
    there are 3 instincts given by God. One – SEX – for recreation only – Two – SURVIVING – meaning never attempt against one’s own life and Three – Sociability to form communes and live with one another.

    We need to see what of those three instincts are deviating us from our original purpose and which one we use so bluntly that cause hurt to others and hurt to us.

    Now we are in step six and seven. Both of them are the same. Here I will share with you a prayer:

    I told Him (GOD) I’d like to be completely and totally rid of my excessive sense of guilt. But I understood that things like this were sometimes useful to Him or to my fellows, so would He take all of it for tonight, sleep on it, and in the morning give me back precisely the amount He wanted me to have. I agreed to accept whatever He returned to me as a personal gift from Him.

    See our character defects stay with us, but today we are a little less dishonest, a little less lustful, a little less envious. We accept this in alcoholics anonymous as much as we accept God as our Higher Power and still some us accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, that died a criminal death on the Cross for our salvation.
    The questions is: Can we die to this world?
    Can we awaken to a better world, with peace, and love for one another?
    This is the true purpose of the twelve steps.
    I love you all.
    Yes I am reading all the replays and yes “Drop the Rock” is a great book for this step.
    Jesus Aguilar I am an alcoholic in recovery

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      U asked, I thought a great question my brother in the Lord Jesus Anuilar: “The questions is: Can we die to this world?” And Loved your thoughtful answers…
      PS Can I plz comment on this without trying to offend u: “One – SEX – for recreation only” I’ll as politely as I can agree to disagree that I believe is a Roman Catholic Church belief / dogma not supported by the Bible. Sex within the marriage covenant is for pleasure and making babies too. I’ll recommend to consider reading the Song of Solomon.

      • Jesus Aguilar says:

        Mark good morning from this beautiful part of Southern California. Aha! it is easy to spot it, isn’t? first of all please brother Mark feel completely free to write what is in your heart and mind, I welcome your comments with an open mind and open heart and yes we can disagree and agree that we are not in agreement, but we can love each other as our LORD and savior commands.
        At this time of my sober living, I have learned to be as transparent as i can be, and you mus have some Catholic moments and know that what I wrote “Sex is for creation only” comes from there.
        Actually this quote comes from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
        Also is a quote as you pointed out from the Roman Catholic Church belief. I have been working on unlearning 54 years of Catholicism, not easy but I am in a quest and I am making progress.
        In fact it is more what I need to unlearn that I will learn for the rest of my live, that I consider is a gift of God, and I am living for his purpose one day at a time.
        “Sex within the marriage covenant is for pleasure and making babies too”
        Aha! sex within the marriage, this is the key. We alcoholics throw away this key and become animals and go and have all kinds of sex. No excuse, neither justification but what happens is that we are not in our right mind and after many years of this practice when we come back reaching out to become sober and change things around. We claim! Sex is God’s giving!! You see why Bill W. wrote the quote. But yes I stand correct and love your input Mark. Keep coming back and so I will.
        May you and your family have a blessed day. Jesus Aguilar
        My next reading is the “Song of Solomon”

  4. Ryan Haynes says:

    This year for Lent I decided to give up swearing, and hopefully stick with it after the Easter season. I am struggling to do so, and I humbly ask God to help me succeed. If any of you fine folks could pray for me to get better at this I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for the great devotionals – I am going to work on reading and commenting more often 🙂

    • jwfisch says:

      Praying for you. Just remember, you cannot stop behaviors that are ingrained. That’s why we ask God to remove them. It takes divine intervention.

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