Defects do not make one broken

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When a person has an alcohol or illegal drug problem, the first thing they’re told when seeking help is that alcohol and drugs aren’t the problem; they’re the symptoms of other problems.

One important area that is addressed is the person’s character defects. They should be honest, admit their character flaws and have a desire to correct them.

While speaking at a drug treatment center a few months ago, I discussed character defects. I jokingly said, “I’m one of the few people who has no character defects.” Jeanne immediately told the group not to believe that. (They seemed to enjoy hearing her remarks.)

I sarcastically asked her to name one of my character defects. Without hesitation, she answered, “Pride, judgmental, controlling, procrastination, selfishness.” I interrupted her and said, “That’s enough!” I then added that I thought I was getting better in most of those areas. It took her a while to agree that I was, but she did.

On the way home, I told her that I could handle everything she named concerning my character defects, except selfishness. I never considered myself selfish. “Oh, you’re not selfish with other people,” she said, “but with me you are.” “What do you mean?” I asked. She answered, “Most of the time, you do what you want, go where you want to go and very seldom consider my wishes.” Needless to say, there was no need for further discussion. I was guilty.

I often say that men don’t know how to love their wives. Most women, on the other hand, know how to love, honor and respect their husbands. Women know how to love unconditionally, are more forgiving and less selfish than men.

As I write this article, I’m convinced that if I overcome my selfishness with Jeanne, the other defects of character will be easier to overcome.

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