How to Overcome Your Shortcomings

A little humor can change your whole perspective.

Posted in , Mar 10, 2021

A woman laughing; Getty Images

Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. James 5:16 (ESV)

I regularly attend Al-Anon family meetings, a group dedicated to helping family members of alcoholics. At a recent meeting the topic was step 7, “Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings.” My “Him” is Jesus who died, not only to take away my shortcomings but to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The woman leading the group read a passage out of an Al-Anon book called Courage to Change that struck me. “Sometimes the sign that I have actually gotten humble enough to ask my Higher Power to remove a shortcoming is that I can laugh about it.” Then the meeting was opened up to sharing.

The man who rides his bike and brings his knitting shared his shortcoming about conflict avoidance. He grew up in a home with alcoholic parents and avoided conflict at all costs because it created chaos. This resonated with a young woman who shared her terror of an upcoming trip home because of her dysfunctional family. Then another woman said something that cracked us up: “I just came back from an Al Anon field trip.” She had spent time with her alcoholic sister and two nephews. Renaming her dreaded family gathering as a “field trip” made it sound a lot more fun. What started out as a heavy topic was lightened with a sense of humor.

When we reach a point where we can laugh about our shortcomings, perhaps we’re closer to overcoming them. Saying our sins out loud lessens the power of that sin over us, and thankfully, because of Jesus our sins are forgiven. We may struggle with them, but confessing them begins the healing.

Faith Step: What is a shortcoming in your life? Ask Jesus to help you, then call a trusted friend and share with her your struggle.

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