Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
The big book of alcoholics anonymous describes the sixth step as follows:
If we can answer to our satisfaction, we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all - every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing. Pg 76
What exactly are these things that I have admitted are objectionable? This is simply any behavior that brings me self-satisfaction while willfully having a total disregard for the feelings of others and how my actions might cause them to suffer either physically or emotionally. I can act out in this behavior with or without the conscience thought of how I am hurting others. Quite simply, selfish and self-centered.
Step six is not complicated! I am trying to come into a relationship with my Creator. When I have I will be living my life in a different way than I have in the past. I have already begun to change in ways that I might not even realize yet. In step four I have come to see my true make-up. Who I really am blocked from my Creator. In step five I have admitted these things before God and I now have a better understanding of how selfish and self-centered I am. Now I must be ready to have God remove all these objectionable things from me. Behavior that I have admitted is not pleasing to God. If I have been thorough and honest with myself and the people about me, to the best of my ability, then I am ready to have God remove these defects. If I am not willing to have God remove them, I am not ready to abandon myself utterly to Him.
I was ready in step three. I thought well about this. I was ready because I saw the futility of life blocked from God or step one. I came to believe that only God could bring me any peace and serenity, (step two), because I saw how my own attempts at happiness keep putting me farther away from any productive and content lifestyle,(step one). When I had to make a decision to serve God I was ready,(step three). I had no idea what it meant to abandon myself utterly to God but I trusted the program of action and I launched out on a course of vigorous action,(step four). In step four I clearly saw the things that were objectionable or the core of my selfish and self-centered behavior. In completing the action necessary to reach these conclusions I then admitted,(step five), that this behavior was not pleasing to God and in fact blocks me from the only power that can help me. I spend an hour reviewing this, making sure that I have been as thorough and honest as I could: Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done. We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better. Taking this book down from our shelf we turn to the page which contains the twelve steps. Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last. Is our work solid so far? Are the stones properly in place? Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation? Have we tried to make mortar without sand? Pg 75
I now know that in order to serve God I must put aside the lifestyle that I have been living. I also know through my own admission that I can't do that without His help:
If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.
Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. Pg 44-45
If I am not willing to let God remove these defects of my character or objectionable behavior, then I am not ready to serve God and don't really believe that I need His help to live. I really don't see step one and I have no need to go any further in the steps.
There is a difference with being willing to let God remove these defects, although I might find that the temptation to continue in this lifestyle is almost unbearable, and not being willing to have Him remove this behavior. Not being willing is a flat out refusal to do Gods will. As I continue to move along with the program of action and seek His will through the development and maintenance of my spiritual growth, I will come to see that God never gives us more than we can handle even though there are times that seem to be unbearable. As I grow spiritually these times will be filled with peace and serenity. Remember what Ebby told Bill: My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements. Pg 13-14
Bill went on to say: Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all. These were revolutionary and drastic proposals, but the moment I fully accepted them, the effect was electric. There was a sense of victory, followed by such a peace and serenity as I had never known. There was utter confidence. I felt lifted up, as though the great clean wind of a mountain top blew through and through. God comes to most men gradually, but His impact on me was sudden and profound. Pg 14
This utter confidence will grow as I continue to seek and do Gods will. Temptations of my old lifestyle will begin to be easier to put aside as I come to know and understand the true Power of God and practice His principles through the unselfish concern for others: My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that. Pg 14-15
Am I willing to let God take me to a different plane of existence?
If I am ready, it's time for step seven.