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One of our visitors asked us if we knew of a Step Seven worksheet. There are, of course, a plethora of such things, most of them for sale somewhere. One of our members was curious about creating something more of a Step 7 think sheet. And he did. And it's free. And here it is.
7) Humbly asked Him (God) to remove our shortcomings.
What shortcomings? The “exact nature of our wrongs” in step 5 is expressed in terms of “defects of character” in step 6, and offered up to God for removal as “shortcomings” in step 7. Bill Wilson, when asked why he used three different sets of words to define character defects, said it was to avoid repetition. Therefore, he intended that there be no significant distinction. Some members waste time needlessly by differentiating the three expressions, which we term, simply, as character defects.
When step 5 is performed well, we leave with a list of our character defects. In step 6 we progressively become willing to have these removed from us, and in step 7 we pray that they might be.
Make a grid similar to that below, and list your defects of character in it. If an example we have entered applies to you, let it remain. If not, replace it with one of yours that is not listed.
Willingness for removal. We have identified five possible levels of your willingness to have each character defect removed. These are:
1) Already removed
2) Absolutely willing
3) Almost willing
4) Give me more time
Place one of these level indicators in the right column of the grid for each character defect.
As you know from reading the 12&12, our stubborn insistence to “never” allow a defect to be removed must, itself, be removed.
If your willingness level for any item is not 1) or 2), you will want to repeat the exercise again later.
We are certain that God will not remove from alcoholics the defects of character that we do not admit we have. This fact explains one of the reasons we must take steps 4 and 5. We also know that God may remove our defects only to the extent that we are willing for them to be removed. That is why we take step 6. He does not intrude upon our private desires to cohabit with the trash in the garbage can.
Describes your level of humility:
|1||I am so low I cohabit with worms.|
|2||I deserve contempt and condemnation.|
|3||I am worthless.|
|4||I am filled with guilt, shame, remorse and self-loathing.|
|5||I feel like being totally honest.|
|6||I have little interest in impressing others.|
|7||I have nothing to hide from God|
|8||I am coming to really know who I am.|
Humility? Are you humble? Place a check mark next to each of the statements in the table which identifies your level of humility?
Even though the dictionary says that humility describes one of lower status, that is not the spiritual significance of humility. Therefore, the first four statements above describe humiliation, not humility.
The root is “hum”, the same root as in humus and humor. For us, humility means “down to earth”. Humility means honest, real, and without phoniness as in statements 5 through 8 above. Our role model, Mother Theresa had it right on when she said, “If you are truly humble, nothing can touch you, neither disgrace nor praise, because you know who you are.”
So, we enter into step 7 with honesty, willing to stand naked, so to speak, before God, hiding nothing, and with no hidden motives.
More about God. In Step 7 we ask God to do something – to remove our shortcomings. But, not all conceptions of a Higher Power(HP) are likely to improve us. Some of the HPs we have encountered are a tree, a moving van, a rock, the classic light bulb, and even the AA Group itself, which is suggested as a last resort starting point in AA literature. Amongst these, the only possible candidate for removing shortcomings might be the AA Group.
However, we think it is not prudent to go through your defects catalogue before your Group. You would be exposing yourself unnecessarily. They would not take the time, and, even if they did, you would get all kinds of confused and incompatible reactions from them. At best, the Group, or even your sponsor, might give you some insight into the nature of your wrongs and some remedial possibilities.
So, you might as well bite the bullet and open yourself up to the Spiritual source, which we might as well call “God” for communication purposes. Here is an opportunity for you to identify further your own conception of God. This is not completely a true-false exercise. Some of your responses might require some contemplation. Thinking deeply on these questions is the benefit of doing it.
|1.||What is the name of your Higher Power(HP)?|
|2.||Where is your HP located?|
|3.||What is the primary location of your HP at the time you are meditating or praying?|
|4.||If you usually pray on your knees, why do you?|
|5.||Can your HP read your thoughts when you pray? Does your HP hear you better when you speak aloud?|
|6.||Is your motive underlying the prayer as important as the thoughts and words of the prayer itself.|
|7.||Should your message be specific and precise, or is it OK to be vague in your requests to your HP?|
|8.||Place a check next to the defects which God is likely to remove?|
|a||Defects of which you are not aware.|
|b||Defects which stand in the way of your usefulness to God.|
|c||Defects which stand in the way of your usefulness to others.|
|d||Defects which annoy you.|
|e||Defects which interfere with your happiness.|
|f||Once you have asked your HP to remove your defects(shortcomings), will they be gone?|
|9.||Does your HP reward you when you comply with His will?|
|10.||Does your HP punish you when you do not comply with His will?|
|11.||Is it necessary for you to attend or be a member of a church?|
The prayer. We are tempted to print out the seventh step prayer for you. However, this is a work sheet. Find the prayer in the Big Book, and write all 56 words of it in the space below.
It is curious to note that we ask only for removal of defects of character which stand in the way of our usefulness to God and our fellows. What about the ones that are painful to us?
Well, there you have it. Hopefully, you have a better feel for Step 7 and its intense power. Add below any notes for yourself. If you wish, please help us improve this worksheet at firstname.lastname@example.org.