We have worked our way through the foundation of the Steps toward wholeness. We know that:
a. We can’t – We are powerless by ourselves
b. God can – God can restore us
c. We are going to let Him – We must turn our lives over to God
Many people get to this point in the recovery process and come to a stop. But remember, that God is only beginning to work in your life. The next step will help you to overcome areas of your life that have a strong grip or control.
STEP FOUR: We take a searching and fearless scriptural, and moral inventory of ourselves.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves…
2 Corinthians 13:5a (NIV)
Examine ourselves (taking inventory) is a crucial part of being able to take part in the Lord’s Supper (communion). Paul wrote:
“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.” 1 Corinthians 11:28-31 (NIV)
In taking inventory or examining ourselves we will discover areas in our lives, either past or present, that cause us difficulty. When we seriously look at our lives we can uncover those things we would like to keep hidden away, and turn them over to Jesus. If we neglect to judge ourselves and deal with these issues they will cause us pain, like depression, stress, anxiety, even physical illness. Paul stated that some of the believers in Corinth were sick and even dying because they had neglected judging themselves. Step four can be a great tool, because it allows us to face areas of our life we know we need to turn over to Christ.
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)
Close examination helps expose the bitter roots in our lives. Fear, resentment, and unforgiveness are things that not only hurt us, but either directly or indirectly, they often hurt other people who we have contact with.
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord” Lamentations 3:40