Step 6 -Whatever It Takes
Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Luke 9:24
It’s common to hear an addict, in his misery, declare that he would do anything to be free. Hating his life and desperately longing for a new one, he says, I’d do anything! Usually, I suggest getting into treatment immediately. Heck no (he doesn’t actually say “heck”). I’ve got a job. I don’t want everyone to know. Though he says he’d do anything to be sober, he really means he just wishes for sobriety without actually doing anything for it.
I’ve been there. I desperately wanted recovery, but I refused to do what it took to get there. I changed nothing, and nothing changed. When finally forced to go to treatment, I went to God in brokenness. Tell me what to do and I’ll do it. This was the beginning of transformation.
In today’s passage, Jesus insisted that following him requires that we live radically different, daily abandoning our way for his. He taught that if some part of us is self-destructive, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to cut that thing out of our lives (Matthew 5:29-30). Faith, spiritual growth, and transformation require drastic, and often painful, change.
This is what step six is about for me: Accepting that if I want to live in faith and recovery, I must daily be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. If I’m an alcoholic working as a bartender, I may need to quit my job and go to treatment. If all my friends drink, I may need to sever those relationships.
Most of us have self-destructive behaviors that we wish we could change. Most of us have tried and failed. Why? Mostly, because we’ve not been willing to do what it took to abandon our way for God’s. Sure, we say we want to lose weight, but, like the addict, when it comes to radically changing the way we live, we say, Heck no. I’m not doing that.
Step six is going to God, saying, I’m ready for you to remove my faults and defects. I’ll do whatever you tell me. What do you want me to do? This is the beginning of growth and transformation.