"HUMBLY ASKED HIM TO REMOVE OUR SHORTCOMINGS"
1. Indeed, the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of A.A.'s Twelve Steps.
2. Instead of regarding the satisfaction of our material desires as the means by which we could live and function as a human beings, we had taken these satisfactions to the final end and aim of life.
3. As long as we placed self-reliance first, a genuine reliance upon a higher power was out of the question.
4. That basic ingredient of all humility, a desire to seek and do God's will, was missing.
5. It was only by repeated humiliations that we were forced to learn something about humility.
6. To get completely away from our aversion to the idea of being humble, to gain a vision of humility as the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit, to be willing to work for humility as something to be desired for itself, takes most of us a long, long time.
7. We may still have no very high opinion of humility as a desirable personal virtue, but we do recognize it as a necessary aid to our survival.
8. During this process of learning more about humility, the most profound result of all was the change in our attitude toward God.
9. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help. But now the words, "Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works", began to carry bright promise and meaning.
10. A great turning point in our lives came when we sought for humility as something we really wanted, rather than something we must have.
11. We would like to be assured that the grace of Gad can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
12. We have seen that character defects based upon shortsighted or unworthy desires are the obstacles that block our path toward these objectives (living in peace).
13. The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear -- primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded.
14. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration.
15. The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God.
16. The whole emphasis of the Seventh Step is on humility.
17. It is really saying to us that we now ought to be willing to try humil¬ity in seeking the removal of our other shortcomings just as we admit¬ted that we were powerless over alcohol, and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
18. If that degree of humility could enable us to find the grace by which such a deadly obsession could be banished, then there must be hope of the same result respecting any other problem we could possibly have.
19. When ready, we say something like this:
"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 fellow. Grant me the strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen."
1) Alcoholics Anonymous (big book), chapter 6, p. 76, 2nd paragraph.
2) Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Step Seven.
SEVENTH STEP GUIDE (Cont.)
"HUMBLY ASKED HIM TO REMOVE OUR SHORTCOMINGS"
In the doing and living of Steps One and Two, a degree of humility, no matter how slight, was necessary when we admitted that we (the acquired false self) were powerless over alcohol and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity (the True Inner Self). In Step Three humility allowed us to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Without humility as our guide, the uncov¬ering and discovering of the acquired character defects (Step Four), along with the admission of the exact nature of our wrongs to God, ourselves and another human being (Step Five), could not have been possible. In Step Six, the readiness to have God remove all these defects of character was once again in proportion to the degree of humility that we had. At least, through doing and living the first six steps, we have attained some humili¬ty in spite of the acquired false self.
In Step Six, we first made a detailed look at the acquired character defects and then proceeded to become ready to have God remove them. Step Seven is similar in nature. Looking at the exact nature of our wrongs, which we are now aware of by having done Step Five thoroughly, should make us eager to be rid of our shortcomings. The key to Step Seven is developing enough humility to ask him to remove these shortcomings, without any reser¬vations whatever.
The whole emphasis of Step Seven is on humility. This step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility, to begin the destruction of the acquired false self. Humility is a part of the True Inner Self (God) which allows us to move from being self-centered to being selfless. This then produces harmony with God and other people. The basic ingredient of all humility is a desire to seek and do God’s will, we humbly asked Him to remove our acquired shortcomings.
Since humility is the basic principle of each of AA’s Twelve Steps, we might ask what is humility? In the past, we associated humility with humiliation. Certainly, each of us had experiences with being humiliated. Also, we may have thought that being humble was a sign of weakness. As we grow in AA’s program, we come to recognize humility as being absolutely necessary to our survival. Humility or the attainment of greater humility, no matter how little of it we may have now, is simply the growing awareness that…”of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works”. Only by a deeper awareness that…of myself I am nothing…can we truly (with genuine humility) ask Him to remove our shortcomings.
The purpose of writing the Seventh Step is to help us become aware of the acquired shortcomings..the ones we must take action on. In doing this, an attainment of a greater degree of humility will come if you are sick of being sick and tired of being controlled by the acquired false self. Only through humility can the true Inner Self start to flow forth.
Go through the following examples in as thorough and as honest a manner as you are willing to at this time. You are after the destructive, acquired false self.
1. What is your definition of the word humility?
2. In what ways have you attained a greater degree of humility?
3. In what ways has your attitude toward God changed since you began to work and live the Steps on a daily basis?
4. What do the words “of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works” mean to you?
5. Do you believe that the chief activator of the acquired character defects has been self centered fear? What are you doing to eliminate this acquired self centered fear?
6. What does “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings” mean to you?
7. How are you going to live Step Seven?
8. Now, using the Seventh Step Prayer as a guide, humbly ask Him to remove your shortcomings!
ACTION IS THE KEY TO YOUR SURVIVAL. DO IT TODAY!!!
1 Alcoholics Anonymous (Big book) Chapter 6, page 76 second paragraph.
2 Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Step Seven
From the Top of the Hill Gropup
840 17th Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Shared with love,
Candy Smith, Oak Harbor, Washington June 4, 1980
Phyllis Brett, Coupeville, Washington June 21, 1987