Taken from the Life Recovery Bible 12-Step Devotional for Step 6
“We were entirely ready to have God remove all defects of character.”
When we are upset, we often depend on our addictions to make us feel better. As we get rid of our addictions, we must face the deeper character defects that God wants to heal. Our addictions function 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.
Jonah had a glaring defect of character: He couldn’t forgive and have compassion on the people of Nineveh, whom he hated. When God decided not to destroy them, Jonah threw a temper tantrum.
“The Lord replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about this?’ Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city. . . . And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. . . . The next morning . . . the plant. . . withered away. And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die” (Jonah 4:4-8).
God did this to show Jonah that the real problem wasn’t the loss of his shelter. Hatred was the real problem. The removal of our sheltering addictions may expose deeper problems. This may spark defensive anger as God touches our deepest hurts. It is all right to let the anger out. But it is also important to let God take care of the real problem.