By: Staci Stallings
Quick recap. We’ve now looked at the first three steps in the 12-Step Program which we are using to show how to move from self-dependence to God-dependence, which will lead to the “peace that passes all understanding.” Here are the first three:
- Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable (I can’t do this anymore)
- Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity (God is real and He’s on my side)
- Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God (I surrender to God’s Will and I know that God only wants the best for me)
Today we move to Step 4:
- Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
Here’s a simpler way to say this: I finally decide to get honest.
Oh, this step is hard! Hard. Hard. Hard.
Why? Because it’s so much easier to bounce along through life lying to ourselves. We don’t want to hurt, and so we think if we just don’t “go there,” we won’t.
Think about it. In your life, is there something that is so painful, it’s just easier not to think about it? How about in your spirit? Are there places and things you have locked inside of yourself that you seriously hope no one ever finds out about?
Trust me, I know because I’ve been there, and on occasion, I go back for visits.
These are the prison cells of feeling insecure or inferior, feeling weak and scared, feeling tired and not good enough. And we all have them. We just choose to cover them with different things. Some choose drugs or alcohol or sex or violence. Others choose things that look really good on the outside like accomplishments and power and people pleasing and service.
The problem is if these good things are not an overflow of what God’s doing in your life, if rather, they are a desperate attempt to get others’ approval so you can feel better about yourself, you’re in serious trouble.
Being honest is not easy. It will probably require some tears over what has happened in the past–things you’ve done and things that have been done to you. It may require tears about the present–how things have not worked out the way you had hoped, wished, or expected.
And I guarantee there are going to be places in your heart and your spirit that you’re just not going to want to go. But to really heal, you have to be willing to expose the whole wound. You can’t give the doctor the scratch on the surface and expect Him to heal the festering cancer underneath.
So today, breathe and decide that you will “go there,” whatever it takes. Get out a pen and paper and write. Sit still for awhile and let your heart open up and be honest about everything.
It’s tough. I know, but it really is a giant step toward healing.
Jonathon Danforth has checked out of life. Stinging from an unimaginable loss, he has withdrawn from life, wanting only to live out his existence with as little interference as possible. However, when his sister talks him into auditing an English Literature class at the local community college, he reluctantly accepts the invitation to abandon his lonely apartment. Intent upon making an appearance for his sister’s sake and then disappearing for his own, Jonathon sulks into class. But when he meets Elizabeth Forester, the professor, Jonathon learns there is more to life and to love than he ever could have imagined.