Step 6: Transformation Through God: James
STEP 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
Step 6 seems to be a paradoxical statement—something that is seemingly contradictory, but nonetheless possibly true. After all, who wouldn’t want defects of character removed? These are defects; by definition, they aren’t good. The logical thought is, “Of course one would want defects removed so we should all be ENTIRELY READY immediately, right?” But for many of us, that is simply not the case.
Generally, defects of character have kept us safe, but they’ve also kept us stuck. They’ve been our safety net to save us from our fears and insecurities. To let them go, means we are now more vulnerable and we need a new skill set to keep us safe, and that is where God comes into the picture. As the Biblical comparison states, with humility, we need to turn to Him as our protector and guide trusting that He will make all things right when we surrender these defects to Him.
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:7-10 NLT
By humbling ourselves, it allows God to come in and make the changes we need to fulfill His will in our lives, but make no mistake, this step uses some very strong words—entirely and all. There isn’t much wiggle room to cling to our defects. When we turn our lives over to Christ, we are entirely ready to give all of ourselves to Him. A common Step 6 prayer, “Jesus, make me like you.” In doing so, all our defects begin to slip away.
Other Key Verses from James
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18 NLT
Examine your heart
- Are there any defects of character that are particularly difficult to let go of? Is there anything the group can do to assist you in this process?
- How can you see God making changes in your life and removing these defects?
Dear Jesus, You are the perfect one. In Your brief time on earth, You modeled all of the things I now want to be—loving, generous, kind, accepting, honest, true, self-sacrificing. Please do a work in me to remove my defects of character and replace them with Your loving grace. I want to be more like You Jesus and I humble my heart to You. Amen.