“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 fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” We have then completed Step Seven.” -A.A. Big Book p.76
What does it mean to “Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings”? Well, time to go back to the dictionary. “Humble; adjective; 1. Not proud or haughty. 2. Not pretentious. 3. Meek, modest, unassuming.” My second sponsor (Kenny, who passed away in 1992) was always good at reminding me of the two foundational facts of human enlightenment; 1. “There is a God” and 2. “It ain’t you”.
What a horrible thing to say to such a great guy like me. I’m humble. Just ask me. Well as usual Kenny was right. I only thought that I had lost my selﬁshness. Ongoing work had to be done. Step Seven again made me take a hard look at me. In Step Three I agreed to take on the role of “agent, child and employee” of God; however I would need more help. I came to an understanding that humility is a
gift from God. He, and He alone, can provide this quality. I became humble only though self sacriﬁce and service to God and others. I, like all the alcoholics that I have ever met, were incapable of being humble without His help. I was impossible. Like every step in the glorious program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I had to develop an attitude of selﬂ essness. The entire program of AA is built on humility and one does not have to be a rocket scientist to extrapolate this message from AA’s basic text.
So how do I demonstrate this gift? Well, one way is not to think less of myself (I am a precious child of God); it is to think of myself less. How can I be of service and avail myself to the improvement of lives of others and the world that I live in? Not an easy task for a group of people that’s life mantra had been, up to their entry into the AA Program; “Hooray for me, and the hell with you.” I needed to come to the realization that I wasn’t the center of the universe. I had to become humble in all my affairs. This was a daunting task indeed. It wasn’t going to happen overnight. It is an ongoing process which improved in my life as I repeated the directions of Step Seven. Try it; it works.
P.S. Step Seven – Described on page 76 (The directions for taking Step Seven are on page 76, paragraph 2, lines 1- 7).