Thursday, 18 December 2014

Step Seven: whose job is it to remove our defects?

In Step Seven, we ask God to remove our defects.

Is it all up to Him?

The summary of the Step on page 59 is necessary simplistic and misses some of the fine print.

If it were all down to God, there would be no further Steps.

God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves but will not do for us what is our responsibility, and the remaining five Steps are our responsibility.

Apart from the amends, which are discreet acts (albeit often with follow-up trains of activity), the remaining five Steps comprise altered attitudes, thinking patterns, and behaviour patterns.

We devise this with God's help; we implement them with God's help: in these regards, we are in cooperation with God. Without God, they will not be removed, but with God alone, and no resolute, concerted effort from us, they will not be removed either.

There is one thing which is 100% down to God, however.

The new attitudes, thinking patterns, and behaviour patterns will run deeply against old programming. Change is painful because it produces conflict between what we are moving from and what we are moving towards. This pain can sometimes outweigh, in our minds, the (longer-term) benefit of change.

If we persist, however, the final piece falls in place, and the new attitudes, thinking patterns, and behaviour patterns become second nature, as the Big Book says, the God-consciousness that becomes a working part of the mind. The conflict is removed, and we are at peace. That last piece in the jigsaw is the ultimate manifestation of grace: when we do God's will because it is our only wish.

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