Tuesday, July 19, 2011



Chris Newcomb, M.Div. 
 
I remember hearing the song “Human” by the British electronic New Wave group called The Human League on the radio as a young lad in the early 1980’s.  It was a unique song and had a catchy lyric to it.  The song is about cheating in a relationship, unfortunately, which my young mind did not understand at the time.  However, I think the chorus of the song is a great illustration for our discussion of Step 7. 
                 
The writer* sings these words in the chorus of the song:
“I’m only human,
of flesh and blood, I’m made,
I’m only human, Born to make mistakes”
*(Human League, “Human”)

Have you ever felt that way?  Ever made so many mistakes that it feels like you’re some kind of human that is worse than a ‘normal’ human?   Ever felt like your mistakes were better known than the rest of mankind’s? 
               
To be certain, I am exaggerating just a little bit.  The point is this:  all humans make mistakes.  We all stumble.  We all fall.  It is a fact.  So, we can all step back and breathe a collective sigh of relief.  However, there is more we can do to deal with this conundrum of our broken human condition.  The name of the game is adopting humility. 
               
If we adopt humility, a few wonderful things happen.  First, we realize that we are not the ruler of the universe.  This removes a lot of pressure and strain on us and others.  Second, in our new found status as creature and not creator, we are free to receive help from the Higher Power of our own understanding.  Last, receiving help from a Higher Power is really great for removing character defects!
                 
Character defects are what led us into addiction in the beginning and will lead us back if we hold on to them.  The problem is so many of us want to fix ourselves. We want to banish our character defects by ourselves but are surprised when we realize we can’t.  However, this realization often swells our pride even more to hold tighter to the very defects we want to eliminate from our lives!
                 
Do you have character defects?  Better yet, do you admit that you have character defects?  If so, what are you doing to deal with them?  Are you asking your Higher Power to remove your character defects or are you fruitlessly trying to remove them yourself?  As we say in the recovery community, "How’s that working for you?"
                 
In closing, character is forged in the fire of adversity.  Character is forged from the purging of character defects.  Character is important, necessary and valuable.  Character is not built by individuals alone.  We all need outside help to develop helpful character traits through our Higher Power and a community in which we can live out these new traits before others. 

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