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Christianity

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Principle: Courage

It takes courage to look at the truth about ourselves - our character defects and our strengths. The process of sanctification (being healed or becoming holy) requires a willingness to know the truth about ourselves. It requires a fearless and thorough self-examination. We need to face the hard questions: where do we fall short, what is it we are to become, how must we change? What are the attitudes and behaviors which need to be changed? Our ability to rationalize our behavior creates a veil of self-deception. This step pierces this veil which is often painful but necessary. This step is the fulfillment of the adage, 'the truth will set you free.'

Text or Verse

Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart.
Psalms 26:2

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalms 139:3-24

For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one shall bear his own load.
Galatians 6:3-5

Practice

Self-examination exercise of Christ-like traits.

  1. Take 7 sheets of paper and make two columns on each sheet.
  2. Label the left column "Examples of Christ-likeness in my life"
  3. Label the right column "Examples of un-Christ-likeness in my life"
  4. For each of the following 7 Christ-like traits write out examples in both columns 1 sheet per trait: compassion, kindness, humility, patience, self-control, forgiveness, and faith. The opposite of these traits is: self-centeredness, mean spiritedness, arrogance, anger, impulsiveness, resentfulness, and worry.

Resources

Rohr, Richard OFM. How Do We Breathe Underwater? The Gospel and 12-Step Spirituality. Center for Action and Contemplation. (go to the Links menu to connect to the web-site)

Dick B. The Good Book and the Big Book. A.A.'s Roots in the Bible. Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1997

Selby, Saul. Twelve Step Christianity. Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2000

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