012 Why are defects still with us?


January xxx

Why are they [defects] still with us? Because they are us. Progressive victory over these defects, not their eradication, is the power of God at work in us.(SA p. 131)

I carry a dog-eared list of character defects in my wallet. The top two items on this list are pride and self-righteousness. Although I have prayed to God that they be removed, I still find them fairly active, in particular with attitudes and behavior toward my wife.

Before I get too down on myself, though, I need to ask myself, “Am I the same as I was when I first entered SA and began to recognize my defects?” The answer is no. Back then I was comfortable with my defects. Now, I am not.

Perhaps God is slowly, carefully, and graciously doing for me what I could not do for myself. Perhaps by fretting over whether or not God has removed all my pride and self-righteousness, I am once again focusing on the problem—my disease—rather than the solution—God’s grace. So, I pray:

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.