Step Six

Were entirely ready to have God remove
all these defects of character.

Part A
Part B

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Part A

The pathway to recovery and finding new life involves the death process. My character defects used to help me cope and were “DEFECTIVE” but they did give me comfort or companionship. Giving the character defects up is like suffering the death of a loved one. I will necessarily lose some of my defective ways of coping. I need to stop and take time to give my losses a proper burial. I need to put them away, cover the shame, and allow myself to grieve the loss of something very familiar to us. When the time of grieving is over, I can journey on. I have found enough pain inside myself to break my heart. Facing brokenness is part of a human condition can be crushing. But if I have arrived at this point, it is probably a sign that I am ready for God to change me. God isn’t looking for evidence of how good I am or how hard I try. He only wants me to mourn over my sins and admit my brokenness. Then he will not my needs but will forgive us comfort us, and cleanse us. I have people telling me to repent and stop thinking the way I do. I would give anything to do this. If it were only that simple to stop my obsessive thoughts! When I am starving emotionally, it is almost impossible to stop thinking about what has feed that hunger, even when I realize it doesn’t satisfy. People don’t seem to understand. He put that verse into larger context of dealing with the hunger within my soul. I fight my addiction on two fronts: dealing with the hunger deep inside me and changing my thoughts of doing wrong. Neither battle is easily won; each require my daily readiness and willingness to allow God to satisfy my hunger and help me overcome my defects of character. When I am upset, I often depend on my addiction to make me feel better. As I get rid of my addiction, I face the deeper character defects that God wants to heal. My addiction functions as a place of “SHELTER” from our pain. But when that “SHELTER” is removed, deep anger may surface, exposing even deeper character flaws that need healing. The removal of my sheltering addiction may expose deeper problems. This may spark defensive anger as God touches my deepest hurts. It is alright to let the anger out. But it is also important to let God take care of the real problem. How can I honestly say that I am entirely ready for God to remove my defects of character? If I think in terms of all or nothing, I may get stuck here because I will never feel entirely ready. It is important to keep in mind that the Twelve Steps are guiding ideals. No one can work them perfectly. My part is to keep moving, to get as close as I can to being ready. For me “ENTIRELY READY” may mean getting as close to the hope of healing as I can in my crippled condition. When I do, God will meet me there and take us the rest of the way. I have made numerous attempts at self-improvement. I have consciously tried to improve my attitudes, my education, my appearance, or my habits. I may have had success in self-improvement on some level. However, when it comes to my struggles with defects of character, chances are I have experienced only deep frustration. The reason for my frustration that my character defects can only be removed, never improved! My sins and defects of character must be put to death with the hope of new life to follow. There is no Band-Aid cure for my sins and defects of character. This process is never easy. I must accept this and allow God to remove my defects, I will be pleasantly surprised by the new life that awaits me. Getting “ENTIRELY READY” to have God remove “ALL” my defects of character sounds impossible. In reality we know that such perfection is out of human reach. I am going to do my best to work toward a life-long goal that no one ever reaches until eternity. The combination of a positive attitude and energetic effort is part of the mystery of my cooperation with God. I will need to practice perfection of myself; it is enough to keep moving ahead as best I can. I can look forward to my rewards with the hope of becoming all that God intends me to be. God will strengthen and encourage me as I do so.

Step six is a “pause” step, Here we reflect on the information we have learned and received about ourselves in completing Steps Four and Five. We have comes along way, however our work is not yet done. Now we must allow God’s Spirit to work deeply in our hearts routing out our defects of character and making changes in our behavior and attitudes that will bring wholeness and serenity. We must let God chisel away even the defects that have been our default mode. Facing the brokenness of our sinful human condition is heart breaking. Addiction is like that--it can embolden us to act profitably in the beginning, yet it bring grandiosity and arrogance, which led to our rationalizing the breaking of morals, laws and rules. One huge character defect for all of us is trying to make life work in our own power. In Step Six, we become ENTIRELY READY by once more acknowledging that our ways of handling life, even if they helped us in the past, and not what God intends for us. We become ready to have God remove these defects, while acknowledging that our prideful ego dashed if we are to have freedom and serenity. The removal of defects is a spiritual surgery that must be accomplished by God’s hand. We must let go of the struggle, give over our will on each defect of character, and become open to his work in our heart. For a complete dependence upon him for lasting change taking a great deal of humility and willingness. In other words, we are invited to step out into faith, take action toward the recovery behaviors we need to develop, and leave the rest to God. When we do our part by choosing to act differently in the moment, God removes the defects! We may not feel like courageously facing our problems head-on instead of running from responsibility. But, we BECOME ENTIRELY READY we are WILLING to allow God to help us to be and to do what we have been unable to do on our own. When we willingly do our part by living rightly in the moment, God removes our defects by supplying his power and his Spirit to make these changes in us. Over time, our defects are replaced with character strengths.

STEP SIX - “We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these difficult defects of character.”
STEP SIX QUOTE ON PRINCIPLE: “Faith, without works is dead so willingness without action is fantasy!” -- Anonymous

ACTION STEP BELOW: (upon completing the Step Six Questions there will also be a list of character defects for you to make an inventory of the defects of character you need to ask God to remove. After defects inventory you will see the asset inventory where you to list the assets you need to ask God to add to your character)


AA Big Book (p.76 paragraph 1)
OA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (p. 53-58)



SHORTCOMING: A coming up short of what should be attained; a failure to come up to a standard of excellence in achievement, conduct character.

DEFECT: Want or lack of something essential to perfection or completeness; a deficiency; also a failing short; a fault or imperfection; also, the amount which anything falls short.

CHARACTER: The total characteristics or distinguishing features; also moral constitution, as of a people or person, often developed moral quality. Also reputation; often good repute; an accounting of the qualities or peculiarities of a person.

We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all our character defects that are objectionable? Can God 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.


Our character defects seem to stick to us like glue as we try time and again to turn them over to God. In practice, step six turns out to be one of the most difficult of the twelve steps, because SAYING we’re entirely ready and BEING entirely ready are two very different things. What we are entirely ready is to have the difficulties our defects cause us removed while we hand on the defects themselves. Why is it so hard for us to be entirely ready to part with our character defects? One major reason for most of us is fear. In honestly facing step six, we confront the fear that our defects are life threads woven into the very fabric of our being; if unraveled. Say what we will about being “COMPLETELY READY” in a general way to have God remove our shortcomings. “After all, nobody expects us to be perfect,” we say “We strive for progress, not perfection.” Such reasoning delays our recovery. The sixth step calls for us to be ENTIRELY ready to have God remove ALL our defects of character. We are powerless over each of our defects of character, just as we are powerless over the food. IT will be up to a Power greater than ourselves to remove them from us; we can’t do it alone. Being “ENTIRELY READY” means that we firmly turn our backs on the old self-destructive behaviors and make every effort to act and live by the principles embodied in the twelve steps. What we are asked to do in step six, we dedicate ourselves to a lifetime of growth and change. Being entirely ready means that we are completely willing to recognize and let go of our defective behavior patterns, and to let God change us as God will. We submit each defect to close scrutiny. In steps four and five we took a long hard look at each trait and acknowledged it as part of our lives. No we ask ourselves what it is doing FOR us as well as what it is doing TO us. Next we need to recognize that each of these old tools for coming with life has now outlived its usefulness. We look at the harm it is doing to us to cling to each of these ways of thinking and acting. As we had to “hit bottom” regarding our eating behavior so we now need to hit bottom with each of these traits. Only when we fully realize that they are costing us more than they are giving us do we become entirely ready to be rid of our character defects. Working the sixth step is a lot like working the first three steps with each of our defects. We remind ourselves: I can’t, but God can, and I’ll let God take it.” A willingness to change is the ESSENCE of step six. As we face step six, we recognize and acknowledge our human fear of change. Then, because we are willing to go to any length for recovery from compulsive eating, we move ahead with step anyhow. No loner do we go through life clinging to the past, resistant to the past, we are ready for the transformation God has for us. Having this attitude we cannot fail. We will become wiser, saner, more effective people, as we learn to cope with good and bad times and we will grow spiritually as God intended for us all along.


In what ways have I tried to fill the hunger of my soul and the thirst of my spirit with other substances and behaviors instead of trusting and following God's will?

Am I ready to turn to God for abundant pardon and for continual nourishment of his Spirit to keep me free of addictive behaviors? Why or why not?

Do I believe not just in my head, that the life God has for me will be more satisfying than the one I have lived under the cloud of addiction? Is my heart willing?

Have I been stubbornly resistant to becoming entirely ready because I have been afraid of change? Are my defects too comfortable and familiar?

Am I willing to accept that I will continue taking this Step in order to grow, letting go of the old flaws to make room for the new strengths? Why or why not?

What have I learned from Step Six?

Part B

I will make a realistic and rational evaluation or "inventory" of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors, both positive and negative. This is not to induce guilt and shame but to evaluate where my attitudes, actions and decisions were not realistic or rational.

Please feel free to use the following lists as you do your Step-work, and also if you wanted to know what some of your character assets are -


185 Character Defects

1 Abusing Others for enjoyment

2 Action, failing to take

3 Aloof

4 Anger Anger 37, 66, 88, 108, 135

5 Antagonistic

6 Anxiety

7 Anxious, overly

8 Apathetic

9 Apologetic, overly

10 Appearances, preoccupied or obsessed with

11 Argumentative

12 Arrogance

13 Avarice

14 Avoiding confrontation

15 Beating yourself up

16 Beauty, obsession or preoccupation with

17 Bigotry

18 Blaming others for disease

19 Blaming self for disease

20 Boastful

21 Boundaries, not setting

22 Busybody

23 Cheating

24 Choosing easy prey, gossip

25 Choosing easy prey, physical

26 Closed-mindedness

27 Codependence

28 Coldheartedness

29 Communication, avoiding

30 Communication, poor

31 Companions, seeking corrupt / lower

32 Compassion, lack of

33 Competitive, excessively

34 Complaining

35 Conceit

36 Condemning

37 Confrontation, avoiding

38 Controlling

39 Controlling Others

40 Cowardice

41 Critical

42 Crude

43 Deceptive, deceiving

44 Dependency, dependent

45 Dependent on parents

46 Destructive

47 Devious

48 Different, thinking you are

49 Disease, feeling responsible for/taking credit for

50 Disease, making excuses for

51 Disease, not accepting

52 Dishonesty

53 Dishonesty by omission

54 Disorganized

55 Egotistical

56 Envious

57 Exaggeration

58 Excess

59 Faith, lack of faith in God

60 Fanatical

61 Fantasizing

62 Favoritism, playing favorites

63 Fearful

64 Filthy-mindedness

65 Financially dependent on others

66 Financially insecure

67 Following through, failing to

68 Frustration

69 Gluttony

70 Gossiping

71 Greed

72 Guilt, about sexual fantasies

73 Guilt, excessive feelings of

74 Guilt, feeling guilty for things beyond control

75 Harsh

76 Hate

77 Hatred of others

78 Hatred of self

79 Health, irresponsibility with or neglect of

80 Help, refusing/not asking for

81 Hopelessness

82 Ignorance Ignorance 2, 20, 107

83 Ill wishes toward others

84 Immodesty

85 Impatience

86 Impulsive purchaser

87 Inadequacy, sense of

88 Incompassionate

89 Inconsiderate Inconsiderate 69, 82, 108, 125

90 Indecisive Indecision 86

91 Indifferent

92 Injustice

93 Insecure in your own skin

94 Insecure in sexuality

95 Insecurity, financial

96 Insensitivity

97 Insincerity Insincere 96

98 Intolerance Intolerance 50, 103, 120, 135, 160

99 Intolerance of sick people

100 Inventory, taking other’s

101 Irresponsibility

102 Irresponsibility, financial

103 Irresponsible

104 Isolating

105 Jealousy

106 Judgmental of others

107 Knowing it all

108 Laziness

110 Leering, crude toward Lewd

112 Lifestyles, not accepting others’

113 Love and friendship, refusal to accept

114 Lustful

115 Lying

116 Making excuses for disease

117 Insecure

118 Manipulative

119 Measuring self against others

120 Meddling

121 Messy

122 Miserliness

123 Negative body image

124 Negative Thinking

125 Negatives, focusing on or magnifying

126 Neglectful

127 Opinionated

128 Opinions, not respecting others’

129 Overcompensating for projected wrongs

130 Overcompensating for weaknesses

131 Perfectionism

132 Pessimism

133 Physical appearance, obsession or preoccupation with

134 Physical health, neglect of

135 Playing God

136 Playing God with self

137 Positives, not looking at

138 Possessive

139 Preachy

140 Prejudice

141 Pride, False

142 Pride, Intellectual

143 Pride, Spiritual

144 Procrastination

145 Program, working other’s

146 Psychoanalysis of others

147 Reckless

148 Remorseful

149 Resentment

150 Revenge, vengefulness

151 Rude

152 Sarcastic

153 Secretive

154 Seeking attention

155 Seeking negative attention

156 Self Condemnation

157 Self Deprecating humor

158 Self Importance

159 Self Justification

160 Self Pity

161 Self reliance

162 Self Seeking

163 Self, putting self on pedestal

164 Self-absorbed

165 Self-centeredness Self-centeredness 14, 61, 62, 64, 111*, 124

166 Self-hatred

167 Self-indulgence

168 Selfishness Selfish 7, 21, 61, 67, 69, 82, 84, 86, 87

169 Self-loathing

170 Setting expectations

171 Sex, hidden

172 Sex, lack of appreciation for

173 Skeptical

174 Sloth

175 Stealing Stealing 68

176 Step on others to get to top

177 Stewardship of assets, poor

178 Suspicious

179 Thoughtless

180 Thrill-seeking

181 Uncharitableness

182 Uncleanness

183 Undependable

184 Undisciplined

185 Unfaithful

Gail W.

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