And I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. Philippians 1:6
We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
How can you have victory over your defects of character? You must voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in your life and ask him to remove your shortcomings. Identify which character defects you want to work on first. Go back to the wrongs, shortcomings, and sins you discovered in your inventory. You must change your mind, the changes that are going to take place are a result of a joint effort – your responsibility is to take the action to FOLLOW God’s direction for the change. Turn your character defects over to God, relying on your own willpower has blocked your recovery. Remember that recovery is a process, don’t look for perfection, but rejoice in steady progress. Choose to change, which requires humility. We need to humbly ask God to remove all our shortcomings and rely on his power to change you.
One of the character defects I had was anger. Post recovery, I realize that any defect or unmanageable behavior is merely a symptom of something deeper. I have explained in previous blogs that our defects are a symptom. God showed me it that it is like a fever. The fever is an indicator of something more underlying, such as an infection. We treat the fever, but we really need to address the issue causing the fever. It’s the same for us. We have a lot of symptoms, but we must go to the very root, which will eliminate the symptom. One way my anger comes out is on the road. I prayed for years to God asking why I was so aggressive on the road. One day he showed me a vision of me taking my frustration out on the road. The very thing transpired that day when I was driving. I was confused and I called my sponsor. She asked me what happened that day. I told her nothing, but something happened that week that really hurt my feelings. My sponsor knows me pretty well and she realizes that I have spent a life time denying my feelings which started as a young child never being allowed to express my emotions. She taught me to address my hurt that week with God and ask for healing. Because I have a tendency to not properly acknowledge my feelings, I have to make sure that I inventory every time I get hurt or angry now. Sometimes because of my schedule, I forget to inventory specific things that happen. When I am driving and if I realize that I am being aggressive on the road, I stop and ask myself what has happened within the past couple of days? I always remember something and I stop and inventory that occurrence and I begin to feel peace and drive without aggression. It is something that I have to be constantly aware of. It’s like a fever, letting me know that something underlying is bothering me and I need to settle the matter with God. I am technically not a person that struggles with anger, it is just an emotion that surfaces when I am subconsciously suppressing my feelings. Whatever defects you exhibit are just symptoms of something more underlying. It’s important not to focus on your symptoms, because they don’t define you. It’s important to surrender to God, so he can reveal the underlying issue, just like he did with me. The anger defect that I have struggled with has caused damage in my relationships and I have even been judged and called a hypocrite because of my anger. Being judged and called names was very hard for me because I knew that I was not an angry person.
1. As you voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in your recovery, how does Romans 12:1 help you know that real positive change is possible?
2. List the changes that you want to ask God to help you work on now. Will you work on them?
3. God’s word teaches us that real change comes from the changing of our minds. We must take the positive action required to follow God’s directions. List the actions that you need to take to begin working on the defects of character that you listed in question 2.
Defect of character:
I need to stop doing:
I need to start doing:
4. List the specific ways that you have turned from relying on your own willpower to relying on God’s will for your life.
5. What does humility mean to you? How will being humble allow you to change?
Dear God, show me your will in working on my shortcomings. Help me not to resist the changes that you have planned for me. I need you to direct my steps. Help me stay in today, not get dragged back into the past or lost in the future. I ask you to give me the power and the wisdom to make the very best I can out of today. In Christ’s name, Amen.