God Is Humble Enough to Be Anonymous
Within the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, humility is defined as a clear recognition of who we are followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be. That is, humility is seeing ourselves as we actually are, good and bad, strong and weak, and acting authentically on those truths. This is not a naive attitude suggesting we have in some way already “arrived.” It is a sincere attempt to state the positive truth that when we face the truth of our shortcomings and the fact that we are powerless to change and begin to let God take our defects away, we have entered the pathway of humility. For the reality is, only God can take away our Sin, our deeply entrenched addictions, and our lifelong character defects. It is on this pathway, where we humbly ask God to remove all these defects of character, that the tools of recovery bring the healing, happiness, and security we have dreamed of. But once more it is only powerlessness and pain that can force us to take the seventh Step into humility.
Humility is a sense of our own humanness. If this is our first experience with the Seventh Step, this may be the point when we first feel a sense of compassion for ourselves. It’s deeply moving to realize for the first time that we’re truly just human and trying our best. We make decisions, both good and bad, and hope things turn out okay. With this knowledge about who we are, we also realize that just as we’re doing our best, so are other people. We feel a real connection with others, knowing that we’re all subject to the same insecurities and failings and that we all have dreams for the future.
We need humility for three reasons:
· So that we can recognize the severity of our character defects. One aspect of our addictions is that we tend to deny and minimize the pain they inflict. Therefore as we try to assess our character defects, we may, unless we take a very humble approach, underestimate their severity.
· So that we can acknowledge the limits of human power in addressing these character defects. We cannot do it on our own. We cannot do it by sheer willpower. We cannot do it by our own intellect and reasoning.
· So that we can appreciate the enormity of God’s power to transform lives.
Although Step 7 is the shortest step in terms of wording and is perhaps the least discussed in recovery groups, it is probably the most potent of the twelve. It embodies the miracle of transformation as we turn over to God our broken, defective personalities in order that He might mold them into healthy, effective instruments of His will. I know for me, 4 years ago on my own 12-step journey, this was a step I struggle the most with for a time… fully surrendering to God and living second. Allowing his love & guidance to work within my life to make the changes in ME that He saw were needed for a full recovery for a hopeless state of mind, spirit of being I had found myself. A comfort to me in my morning routine included the following prayer from page 76 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Seventh Step Prayer
My Creator, I am now willing that You should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows.
Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding. Amen.
Apostle Paul may have said it best, about God’s enduring Love for us – even if we are not humble enough or ready to seek him – He is there and constant. Working anonymously through our lives until we are ready to seek him wholeheartedly and in full surrender to remove our defect of character and mold us as He know we were meant to be and serve him here on this wondrous earth.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” –1 Corinthians 13:7
-Laurie Faith Gibson