by: Staci Stallings
We’ve been going through the A.A. 12-Step program to see what it can teach us about relying completely on God. So far, we’ve done 9 steps:
- Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
- Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
- Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
- Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
- Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
- Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
- Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
Today we look at Step 10:
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
As an English teacher, I’m not sure why these are all written in the past tense. This is true maybe especially for this one as it is not a “once-and-done” proposition. In fact, I think the “once-and-done” mentality is often what gets us into trouble.
We accept Jesus, and kind of feel like we can now check that box off on the Life To Do List. What we don’t realize is a relationship with God is not once-and-done. It’s an all-the-time-everyday process.
The other day I was talking with a good friend of mine, and he was telling me how challenging it is to walk with God. He said, “I feel like sometimes I’m on the right side of things, and then I don’t know why but I’m back over here where I know I don’t want to be.” I think my friend’s experience is true of many if not all of us.
In fact, I once read that Mother Teresa’s diary included several passages about her doubts on the subject of God. You may find that hard to believe or even sacrilegious, but all I have to do is think of what she was facing each day, and I completely understand.
It’s hard to reconcile a loving God with the anguish we see and deal with each day. It’s hard to figure why He wouldn’t just fix everything if He loves us so much.
However, I’m coming to realize that God fixing everything would teach us nothing.
It’s like a parent who bails their child out of every jam they get into. They don’t help the child to become productive and responsible. Instead, they work as an enabler, propping up a child at the expense of his or her future ability to cope.
Neither should a parent just cut a child loose to their own devices. This extreme doesn’t work either. A loving parent instead willingly helps when a child genuinely needs it and encourages a child to do whatever he or she is truly capable of doing themselves. And these lines change nearly daily.
For example, my son recently went through learning his multiplication tables. At first, I had to be there every minute he was studying because if I just gave him the flashcards and told him to learn them, he didn’t have a concept of HOW to do that. So at first we walked through it together about half-a-hundred times or so. However, by the end, he knew when he stumbled on one, to put it aside and work on memorizing that one. That’s what a good parent does–help a child become independent.
God, too, wants us to grow and increase our love-capability. I think that’s what this step is about. Don’t put off apologies. Don’t figure you’ll do a personal inventory once every six months or something. It needs to be a continuous process, digging ever further into setting our world aright–with God’s help every step of the way.
So please don’t take this on and make it a past thing. Make it a daily, present thing in your life. You don’t have to focus on it, just live and when a mistake trips you up, apologize, make it right, forgive yourself, and go on with life. That’s how you live healed, and it truly then helps you know that in your need for Jesus, He is always right there.
Book 2 of The Harmony Series
Some books are entertaining. Others challenge our faith and inspire growth. And still others touch our hearts on a deeper level. Then, there are the rare books that do all of the above. Those are the great books. Lucky by Staci Stallings is a great book. Staci has woven this love story like a fine tapestry.
– Chandra Lynn Smith, http://chandrasplace.blogspot.com
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