I had no idea what "character defects", and "shortcomings", were when I came to AA. All I knew was, that I had been told I was a "character", and a sorry one at that. To put it the way it was explained to me, in kitchen table language, was I had to become entirely ready for God to remove all the defects of character I had just admitted to in Step 5. Pride, ego, drinking, shootin' dope, gross vulgarity, stealing, envy, self-centeredness, anger, revenge, lust, greed, lying, jealousy, and the rest of them, which caused me to have a 4th Step as long as a Three-week payday. I still have each and everyone of those defects, and sometimes they try to rear their ugly head, but these steps and you people remind me of what will happen if I react to those evil thoughts. Like in, "I ain't stole a horse today, but I ain't forgot how." Then it was explained to me in Step 7, I was to humbly ask God to forgive me of what I hadn't done in my life, which I should HAVE done, and to help me recognize future occurences of this illness trying to trick me into not doing the right thing. Sins of commission, and sins of ommission. But that's just MHO.