4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
I’m listing two steps this week because I, for one, am not ready to move on to Step 5, and I do not think that I am alone. Besides, Step 4 looks like it could take a lot more time than Step 5. Step 5 seems to be what you do with the information you get from Step 4 once you get it.
Come on, now, I know a lot of you are looking on curiously, wondering where this is all going to lead. You’re interested enough to keep reading, but not interested enough to actually take part. This will obviously take an emotional and spiritual commitment that some of you may simply not be willing to make right now.
Who wants to do this? No one relishes a “searching and fearless moral inventory,” especially when no one really asked for one, which, I admit, is probably presenting a challenge to many of you. “Why am I being asked to put myself through this? I’m not even an alcoholic.”
Usually it takes hitting bottom to get someone in the door of an AA meeting, and we’re asking you to consider this as part of your daily devotional — your daily time with God? This is for people who have made a mess of their lives, and you are holding it together relatively well (Are you really?). My guess is that most of you are thinking about following along, but from a distance, preferring to sit this one out rather than make yourself vulnerable to AA’s humbling steps, especially when no one checked in with you first. (Confession: I fall into the category of that last sentence and I’m the one writing this!)
Okay, so we’re asking a lot. I’ll admit that. But now that we’ve started (and we don’t like to not finish what we start), why not give this some serious thought? Millions of people have been helped by these simple steps. You don’t have to be going down for the count to know how powerless you are to get up from the mat. You don’t have to be knocked out to learn you don’t have what it takes in yourself to defeat this opponent. You don’t have to get your nose broken to realize how breakable you are. The Christian life is lived in total dependence on God. Alcoholics learn they have to live in total dependence on God. We all have much to learn from those who have tried on their own and failed to live any other way.
Considering that your knock-out blow could be right around the corner, think of it as preventative.