Skill sets are amazing and can sometimes make a real difference for folks. As we work through our sixth step of finding a certain willing readiness to have God remove our defects of character, part of the process will involve figuring out what those defects actually are – and that can be painful.
However, count it all joy – and I mean it. I’m not being sarcastic. Because this means that you can learn new skills and not keep piling up a big long list of resentments among you and your loved ones. We may need to learn how to handle conflict AND treat our ideological adversary of the moment with respect. We may need to learn how to talk more, speak less, listen longer, ask for and receive feedback, give feedback with grace, do decent self-care, on and on and on and on. But what’s the alternative?
Here’s the downside to NOT doing this – eventually, we wake up one morning and realize how lonely we are. If we’re not willing to keep surrendering, acknowledging, and participating in God’s healing work, then eventually we become rather difficult for others to tolerate, much less enjoy.
My friend Suzanne Stabile does amazing work with a tool called the Enneagram. It’s an excellent, complicated, and fascinating body of work that helps us recognize our “number” and discover our motivations, our lusts, our passions, and even our potential. One thing she says in almost every meeting I’ve ever been in with her is this: “The best part of you is also the worst part of you.”
This reminds me that this work of recovery is not something I can accomplish without working a spiritual program. If the best and the worst of me are somehow connected, how do I know what I need to change? Do I have the discernment and wisdom to direct my efforts at participating in a life of transformation? What skills do I need to acquire and where do I go to get them?
The questions are endless; but the work is well worth the effort. Today, I pray that God will inspire you to find willingness to take your next right step.