Character Defects

“If I simply let go of a character defect – release it – my Higher Power will replace it with a character asset. As I release anger, I find that I am friendlier. As I release hate, I become more loving. As I release fear, I become more secure.”

 The above quote came to  me this morning via e-mail. I like it because it speaks of my sense of what growing up is all about…growing on the inside, that is. I like the words “character defect” better than the word “sin”. It feels less shameful and more hopeful.

I like, too, the idea that one can let go of a character defect. This sounds almost too simple. There is a sense that we somehow hold onto character defects and that they are separate from who we are. They are extras added on to us like baggage that we can kick off the back end of a trailer sinking in the mud. One might question why anyone would hang onto this baggage. I suppose there is some pleasure or self-satisfaction involved. I know this is true from my own life experience. I have held on to anger because is reinforced my sense of rightness. I have hung onto fear because it in some screwy way made me feel safer, like having a gun tucked in my sock. Both made me feel in control even though I was totally not in control.

I like, also, the idea that when we let a character defect go, we are not left empty. How good it feels to feel good about someone we once hated! How good it feels to walk with confidence into situations that once caused us to cower.

I like the idea that the responsibility for my own growth belongs to God. I don’t have to strive any more. It is like having a doctor that you can really trust. Healing takes time, change takes time. If the medicine has a unpleasant side-effects or the physical therapy causes discomfort…it is okay because of this trust.

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