Step Four ~ Week One

“I WILL INVESTIGATE MY SINFUL HABITS AND ATTITUDES”
In order to help me change, I will investigate and record with God’s help – my sinful habits and attitudes.

Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.
                                                                                                                             Lamentations 3:40

Take a good look at yourself

Luke 11:36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.

The only way to work out what in your life is stopping you from following God is to take inventory, Step Four says “In order to help me change, I will investigate and record with God’s help – my sinful habits and attitudes.”

The first time I took an honest inventory of my life, my habits and attitudes were whilst staying in the William Both Men’s Hostel in Adelaide. I had decided before I ever got to recovery if I really wanted to change my life I needed to know and to understand me.
I still have a copy of that inventory. The language is colourful. Some of the things I wrote were untrue but I believed them at the time based on how I was feeling back then.

~ When was the last time you took a good look at yourself?

line

Psalms 26:2 Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit inside and out.

Psalms 17:3 Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night– You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.

line

Within five days, the Chief Priest Ananias arrived with a contingent of leaders, along with Tertullus, a trial lawyer. They presented the governor with their case against Paul. When Paul was called before the court, Tertullus spoke for the prosecution:”Most Honorable Felix, we are most grateful in all times and places for your wise and gentle rule. We are much aware that it is because of you and you alone that we enjoy all this peace and gain daily profit from your reforms. I’m not going to tire you out with a long speech.I beg your kind indulgence in listening to me. I’ll be quite brief. “We’ve found this man time and again disturbing the peace, stirring up riots against Jews all over the world, the ringleader of a seditious sect called Nazarenes. He’s a real bad apple, I must say. We caught him trying to defile our holy Temple and arrested him. You’ll be able to verify all these accusations when you examine him yourself.” The Jews joined in: “Hear, hear! That’s right!” The governor motioned to Paul that it was now his turn. Paul said, “I count myself fortunate to be defending myself before you, Governor, knowing how fair-minded you’ve been in judging us all these years. I’ve been back in the country only twelve days –you can check out these dates easily enough. I came with the express purpose of worshiping in Jerusalem on Pentecost, and I’ve been minding my own business the whole time. Nobody can say they saw me arguing in the Temple or working up a crowd in the streets.

Not one of their charges can be backed up with evidence or witnesses. “But I do freely admit this: In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street, I serve and worship the very same God served and worshiped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures. And I admit to living in hopeful anticipation that God will raise the dead, both the good and the bad. If that’s my crime, my accusers are just as guilty as I am. “Believe me, I do my level best to keep a clear conscience before God and my neighbors in everything I do. Acts 24:1-16

line

Recovery always takes place in the context of relationships. So taking our personal inventory in the recovery process must lead us to make improvements in how we relate to others. We may not be in a position of leadership, but we are always an example to others.

When we are taking inventory on a regular basis, everyone wins: We do because we grow; others do because they are encouraged.

A successful recovery will lead to the healing of our broken relationships.

line

1 Corinthians 11:28 Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe. (Talking About Communion)

1 John 4:1 My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

Jeremiah 11:20 I said, “God-of-the-Angel-Armies, you’re a fair judge. You examine and cross-examine human actions and motives. I want to see these people shown up and put down! I’m an open book before you.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”

line

I WILL TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT MY SINFUL HABITS AND ATTITUDES
and with God’s help, I will do what I need to do to change them.

BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES DON’T BECOME BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES OVERNIGHT

BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES NEED TO BE REPLACED WITH GOOD HABITS AND ATTITUDES

BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES CAN ONLY BE CHANGED WITH GOD’S HELP

THE HABITS AND ATTITUDES WE NEED TO IMITATE IN OUR CHARACTER ARE THE HABITS AND ATTITUDES OF JESUS

line

Luke 4:16-19 He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place.When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

Matthew 6:5-6 “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.

Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.”