The Defects Of Character And How We Exalt In Them
What we’re looking for is how we actually enjoy acting in certain defects of character and we’re going to look for the defects of character that we enjoy acting in. It might not necessarily be all of them, but there will be certain defects of character, like gluttony (gluttony is to take more of something than we need) that we will fall into, or sloth (being lazy, we don’t want to do stuff) that is a defect of character; and there are times we enjoy that, so we want to find out why we enjoy that. What have we attached to that defect of character that makes it okay for our life? Then, what we’re looking for is now not our sundry ideas of what we think is sloth, but what’s God’s idea for us? Not an ideal above where we live, according to the character we are, and the best that we can know, what is God’s ideal for us? (in reference to how much sloth we might get into, or envy, or gluttony). We want God’s barometer, not our own anymore.
That’s part of what step six means when it says “we were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character,” is we’re looking for God’s value system. God becomes the barometer as raising the bar of defects of character, and we must be rid of our grossest defects’l of character first. So, as we look at these defects of character we’re trying to look at where we enjoy them, like anger. Sometimes we like getting angry at people. We want to stop that, we got to grow up, we got to realize that’s really unhealthy; it’s not good for us. Measure your body level, the energy level of what happens to you after you get angry. Realize and be entirely ready to have anger removed. See the end result of anger, the emotional hang-over in step six, so you can be entirely ready to have it removed. You’re motivated because you can see the end result (if I keep acting in anger I’m going to be tired, I’m going to be worn down,>I get moody, maybe I start acting towards other people. I don’t want to go there. So, recognize it before you’re going there or while you’re going there, and that’s truly the essence of step six.
So, we’re going to look for where we exult in our defects of character, where we really enjoy them, and how we personally, ourselves, kind of get into them, and we justify it; and, that’s how we know we enjoy them. We think there’s a reason for doing it, “oh, I’m just doing that because I overdid it here, or I under-did it there.” There is no more justification. In step six, again, we’re entirely ready now to have God’s values in reference to our defects of character. We’re never going to be asked to give more than we’re capable of giving. So, again when we’re asking God to be entirely ready, “God, how should I be according to this defect of character, where am I ready to perform at? not somebody else and not some perfect ideal, but where am I ready to perform at, how can I deal with anger? not somebody else’s level, but my level, and God will give you the insight to go for the best you know; and, that’s the rule of thumb. So, we’re looking for God’s point of view, not our sundry idea of what we think’s okay.