“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
I Peter 5:6-7
“For just so long as we were convinced that we could live exclusively by our own individual strength and intelligence, for just that long was a working faith in a Higher Power impossible. This was true even when we believed God existed. We could actually have earnest religious beliefs which remained barren because we were still trying to play God ourselves. As long as we placed self-reliance first, a genuine reliance upon a Higher Power was out of the question. That basic ingredient of all humility, a desire to seek and do God’s will was missing.”
- Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
For most of us, our first encounter with real humility was when we admitted that we had an addiction that was more powerful than we were. We have grown in humility as we have worked through our Step Four personal inventory. This kind of recovery work makes it possible for us to humbly ‘own’ the truth about ourselves. When we see and accept the real facts about our choices and our lives, we will be less inclined to rationalize our improper actions, minimize our difficulties or ignore the pain that other people have suffered because of our character defects. Knowing the real facts about ourselves helps us to see our own limitations and to accept the blunt truth of our needs and shortcomings. We are not all-powerful. We don’t control ourselves all of the time, and we do not control other people any of the time. Humility helps us to accept these facts, giving us eyes through which we’ll see God change who we are, the way we think, the way we handle our emotions and the way we live our lives.
The growth and maturity we experience is one of the gifts of humility that God will give to us as we responsibly admit and correct our character defects. It looks like this. When we notice a character defect expressed through our thoughts and actions, we make the choice to reverse our thinking and our actions. When we do so, our character defects will begin to lose some of their power. Every time we say ‘no’ to them, the grip they’ve habitually had on us loosens. Nothing is so helpful to curing addictions and healing character defects as to stop doing the addiction and admit the character defects that have been a part of our addictive thinking. An amazing empowerment from God comes with obedience.
As we progress in our recovery, our priorities and concerns will get reorganized. With a measure much greater than our obedience, we will be given the humility to desire obedience more than blessing, character more than comfort—all so that we may help and not hinder the work of God. The greatest blessing for any of us is to live free from our addiction and be fully aligned with the will of a loving God. Even before we ask, God is giving us all that we have ever needed. He is always one step ahead of us!