•To explore the Sixth through Ninth Steps in order to understand the process of repentance.
•To reflect on the grace of God and how it affects us.
•To discuss the biblical view of repentance.
•Six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
•Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
•Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
•Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Steps Six and Seven can be very hard for us to undertake. We are now asked to give up behaviors that have long dominated our lives. We can see how destructive these behaviors have been. But still, when it comes to letting them go, all sorts of resistance sets in. We discover how attached we are to these behaviors; we find how much we need them.
Nevertheless, we cannot skip Steps Six and Seven. We must:
•Be specific in naming our shortcomings.
•Desire that they be removed by God.
•Recognize that we will continue to face temptation.
•Recognize that we will never be free from sin. No one is: no one can be.
•Recognize that certain traits may not be removed, but rather, transformed. (For example, the strong sexual drive of sex addicts may remain, but now their expression is transformed.)
•Believe that God can remove our shortcomings, over time, in his own way.
And so we ask God remove our shortcomings? This is what we decide we want him to do in Step Six and ask him to do in Step Seven. We know that God does answer Step Seven prayers (as the testimony of countless people confirms). But we also know that this does not happen magically, automatically, instantaneously, or predictably. We acknowledge that God works in his own way, in his own time, and for our benefit. What we don’t know is how he will act.