4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Let us test and examine our ways.
Let us turn back to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40)
You should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28)
Seeing the scriptures printed above, is there any question as to whether this moral inventory step is something that is important to God? Like all the steps, however they are worded, this one is biblically sound. Self-examination is mentioned at least by David and Jeremiah in the Old Testament, and Paul in the New. And it is important to include a warning here. As Jens Christy, Recovery Pastor at Capo Beach Church and guest on our BlogTalkRadio show last night taught us, we probably know less about ourselves than anybody. Why is that? Because we have a tendency to bury our sins, addictions and poor choices deeply underneath shovels full of denial, blame, rationalizations and justifications. We see other’s sins before we see our own. That’s why Jesus told us not to judge, because we will most likely be judging what we are guilty of.
This is why it’s going to be limited how far you can go into this step alone. Unless you are somehow ruthless with yourself, and few of us are, we are going to need some help on this one. Actually the Twelve Steps are designed to be carried out in the context of a group and guided by a sponsor who has been through this many times over. This makes it hard to do this on line. I would suggest you employ a friend to help you with this step — someone who won’t let you hide.
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
This verse tells us that living in the light is living revealed. It is living in such a way that our lives are open to each other, and that would include our sins and our shortcomings laid bare so they can be cleansed and washed away. Notice that the fellowship mentioned here is in the context of this open, revealed living, which is what makes me always think of this verse in light of the AA model. John would be a big fan of the Twelve Steps.