Removed, Not Improved
We were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.
Most of us have made numerous attempts at self-improvement. Perhaps, we've consciously tried to improve our attitudes, our education, our appearance, or our habits. We probably have had some success in self-improvement on some level. However, when it comes to our struggles with defects of character, chances are we've only experienced deep frustration.
There is a reason for our frustration. These character defects can only be removed, never improved! The illustration given us in the Bible is that these defects of character must be put to death, as Jesus was, with the hope of new life to follow. The apostle Paul wrote, "Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin" (Romans 6:6). "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there" (Galatians 5:24).
There is no Band-Aid cure for these defects of character. They have been crucified and must die their death on the cross. This process is never easy. Who goes to a crucifixion without some measure of anxiety? But when we accept this and allow God to remove our defects, we will be surprised by the new life that greets us on the other side.
Before, we were slaves to our addictions; now, we can choose to have God remove all the old, destructive patterns.