SIXTH STEP GUIDE
“We were entirely ready
to have God remove all these defects of character.”
In doing Step Four honestly,
we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our character defects. Also,
after we completed Step Five, the exact nature of our wrongs were than brought out into the open. Using both the lists, Acquired Character Defects (Step Four), and Recognition of our Wrongs (Step Five),
we are now able to begin Step Six.
Step Six consists of two
areas. The first area involves a detailed look at the acquired character defects
that we are aware of at this point in the program. These defects range from mild
(i.e., telling only half-truths to other people) to severe (i.e., using people and loving things). As we investigate these acquired defects thoroughly, we will be able to list these defects—ranging
from mild to severe. At the very least, we must face up to the severe defects
and take action toward their removal and attempt to control them. These severe
defects are blocks to our uncovering the true inner self. They must be dealt
with immediately. The milder acquired character defects may be the ones that
we enjoy hanging onto. Again, we must recognize these defects that we are “comfortable”
The second area of Step Six
is becoming entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Readiness
is the key to this step. We will need to make a brand new venture into open-mindedness. The acquired character defects that we are not, as yet, willing to take action on,
may be removed if we become willing to ask God to help us to be willing. As we
apply Step Six to all of our acquired character defects, without any reservations whatever, this process expands the degree
of readiness. Once again, willingness, open-mindedness and honesty are absolutely
essential to this step.
At this stage, if we have
become aware of our acquired character defects and have the readiness to have God remove them, the question—will God
remove al these defects—comes up. Step Six does not mean that we should
expect all the defects to be removed as was the obsession to drink. A few of
the acquired character defects may be, but with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement. Once we are aware of our acquired character defects being part of the false self, then we must exercise
self-discipline. Our self-discipline, when applied to the process of patient
elimination of these defects, will deepen our awareness that we must ask for God within us.
Only then can we hope to conform to God’s will.
The purpose of writing the
sixth step is to help us become aware of our acquired character defects—the ones we must take action on. Also, this process develops the readiness which is the key for this step.
Make a list of all the acquired defects of character that you are aware of at this time. As a starting point, use the list from Step Four and the exact nature of your wrongs from Step Five. Add to it any new defects that you have uncovered.