Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7 – Moral

LESSON 7 – MORAL

PRINCIPLE 4
Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.
Happy are the pure in heart.
MATTHEW 5:8

STEP 4
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
LAMENTATIONS 3:40

Today we are going to really dig in and begin the growth process of recovery. Now, even though Principle 4 may bring some growing pains with it, this morning we are going to look at ways to maximize the growth and minimize the pain.

I wish I could say that you can escape the pain of your past altogether by going around it or jumping over it. But the only way I know to get rid of the pain of your past is to go through it. It has been said that:
We need to use our past as a springboard, not a sofa—a guidepost, not a hitching post.

I know some people who spend their lives rationalizing/wallowing in the past, complaining about the present, and fearing the future. They, of course, are not moving down the road to recovery.
Hopefully today you have chosen to continue going forward. And if you choose to embark on the adventure of self-discovery that begins with Principle 4 and continues through Principle 5, I can guarantee you that growth will occur.

Principle 4 begins the process of “coming clean.” Pastor Rick Warren calls this “truth decay.” It is here that we openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and another person we trust. We chip away and clean out all the decay of the past that has built up over the years and has kept us from really seeing the truth about our past and present situations. (Bullet point: For now, until you find that someone you trust, you can confess to yourself and God)
If you will remember last week, I told you this is a process and it’s not something you just do and check off the list in one day….. Your plate may be full – You can only eat one piece at a time right????

A MORAL INVENTORY
You may be wondering, “How do I do this thing called a moral inventory?”
That word “moral” scares some people but really the word “moral” simply means honest!
In this step, you need to list, or “inventory”, all the significant events—good and bad—in your life. You need to be as honest as you can to allow God to show you your part in each event and how that affected you and others.
An inventory in a business has certain stock “on hand” and your list is basically what’s still sitting in your stock room… Let’s get that cleaned up so it holds your most valuable treasures and not just the junk from the past…

Today’s acrostic will explain the five things you need to do to make a MORAL inventory.
Make time
Open
Rely
Analyze
List

Now let’s unpack each of these to find some meaning in them

MAKE TIME
First you need to MAKE time. Schedule an appointment with yourself. Set aside a day or a weekend, or each morning and get alone with God!
God tells us in Job 33:33
Listen to me. Keep silence and I will teach you wisdom!
How often have you needed something and then you pick up the God phone and say “Lord please do this or that” and then you hang up the phone and never give HIM the time to speak back to you?
Teach yourself to be still and quiet and just listen… make some notes about what comes to mind and then do an assessment of those things..
Why would this come to mind?
What can I do about this?

OPEN
The next letter in MORAL, O, stands for OPEN.
Remember when, as a child, you would visit the doctor, and he would say, “Open up!” in that funny sing-song voice? Well, you need to “open up” your heart and mind to allow the feelings that the pain of the past has blocked or caused you to deny.
Denial may have protected you from your feelings and repressed your pain for awhile. But now it has also blocked and prevented your recovery from your hurts, hang-ups, and habits. You need to “open up” to see the real truth.
Once you have seen the truth, you need to express it. Here’s what Job had to say about being open:
Let me express my anguish. Let me be free to speak out of the bitterness of my soul.
JOB 7:11
Remember to be HONEST.
It’s not going to do you any good if you are not fully honest.
Imagine a pie and think about the pie as being the WHOLE story…
Now, if you have ANY part in that story that you need to own up to then DO IT.
If we get a wound, we are not going to apply medicine to only the parts that don’t hurt so bad and leave the rest untreated, are we?
NO, we are going to apply the medication to ALL of it,,,

Perhaps the following questions will help to “wake up” your feelings and get you started on your inventory!
Ask yourself:
What do I feel guilty about?
The first thing that came to your mind is what you need to address first in your inventory.
Do you know and understand the God-given purpose of guilt? God uses guilt to correct us through His Spirit when we are wrong. That’s called conviction. And conviction can hurt…
Now don’t confuse conviction with condemnation. Romans 8:1 tells us:
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
ROMANS 8:1
Once we have made the decision to ask Jesus into our hearts, once we confess our wrongs, accept Christ’s perfect forgiveness, and turn from our sins, as far as God is concerned, guilt’s purpose—to make us feel bad about what we did in the past—is finished. But we like to hold on to it and beat ourselves over the head—repeatedly—with it!
That’s condemnation. But it’s not from God, it’s from ourselves. Principle 4 will help you let go of your guilt, once and for all.

The next question you need to ask is:
What do I resent?
Resentment results from burying our hurts. If resentments are then suppressed, left to decay, they cause anger, frustration, and depression and so on….
What we don’t talk out creatively, we act out destructively.
You ever blow up about something so small and then everyone wonders what the big deal was?
This is from stuffing our feelings…
What are some reasons we stuff our feelings for?
Keep the peace? Not the right time?
Fear of another’s reaction?
Cant find the words?
Don’t want to hurt someone elses feelings?
Sometimes we feel like we deserved what we got…
This list goes on and on…
You should not be stuffing your feelings, we all know the second we get into a tiff with someone and don’t end it on a good note… Then we replay it over and over and over,, we say, in our minds, what we should of said to them… And we drive ourselves crazy over it… The anger has the best of us… Then we sometimes call other people and tell them the whole story.. Right? Except we may withhold our part – right? Or?
But we need to train ourselves to instantly become aware that this situation doesn’t need to simmer until its boiling… Turn off the burner and wait for it to cool down enough to deal with it in a calm and effective way so that it has no control over you or the other person ever again… This way its off your plate for good…

Another big question that you need to openly ask during this step is:
What are my fears?
Personally, I have a fear of going to the dentist. But even though it may hurt while I’m in the chair, when he’s done chipping the decay away, I feel a lot better.
Fear prevents us from expressing ourselves honestly and taking an honest moral inventory. Joshua 1:9 (GNB) tells us:
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the LORD your God, am with you wherever you go.
JOSHUA 1:9
Next on the list of hard questions to ask yourself:
Am I trapped in self-pity, excuses, and/or dishonest thinking?
Remember, the truth does not change; your feelings do!
These questions are only the beginning of your inventory, but don’t get discouraged. The next letter offers a reminder that you don’t have to face this task alone.

RELY
The next letter is R, which stands for RELY.
Rely on Jesus to give you the courage and strength this step requires. Here’s a suggestion:
Isaiah 40:29 tells us that Jesus:
. . . gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
ISAIAH 40:29
You can do this with His help.
Before we go any farther, I want to remind you that the principles and steps are in order for a reason and if they were listed a different way we wouldn’t have a nifty acrostic! You need to complete Principle 3—turning your life and your will over to God—before you can successfully work Principle 4.
Once you know the love and power of the one and only Higher Power, Jesus Christ, there is no longer any need to fear this principle. Psalm 31:23–24 (TLB) tells us:
Oh, love the Lord, all of you who are his people; for the Lord protects those who are loyal to him…. So cheer up! Take courage if you are depending on the Lord.
PSALM 31:23-24
And remember, courage is not the absence of fear but the conquering of it.

ANALYZE
Now you are ready to ANALYZE your past honestly.
To do a “searching and fearless” inventory, you must step out of your denial, because we cannot put our faults behind us until we face them. You must look through your denial of the past into the truth of the present—your true feelings, motives, thoughts
Proverbs 20:27 (GNB) says:
The LORD gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves.
PROVERBS 20:27
Believe me, I know! I tried! But wherever I go, there I am!
Some of you heard the word “analyze” and got fired up, because you love to pick apart the details of a situation and look at events from all angles.
While others of you were not as thrilled.
But really, since we have a past and its affected us in a negative way today,,, Can we agree that those who have hurt us also have a past and they may not have overcome their old issues…

LIST
Your inventory is basically a written list of the events of your past—both good and bad. (Balance is important.) Seeing your past in print brings you face-to-face with the reality of your character defects. Your inventory becomes a black-and-white discovery of who you truly are way down deep and how you got there in the first place.
But if you just look at all the bad things of your past, you will distort your inventory and open yourself to unnecessary pain. Lamentations 3:40 tells us:
Let us examine our ways and test them.
LAMENTATIONS 3:40
The verse doesn’t say, “just examine your bad, negative ways.” You need to honestly focus on the “pros” and the “cons” of your past!
Again, Be careful not to neglected to balance your inventory and get stuck in your recovery.
Just focusing on negative can be just that,,, negative…
An important word of caution: Do not begin this step without a sponsor or a strong accountability partner! You need someone you trust to help keep you balanced during this step, not to do the work for you. Nobody can do that except you. But you need encouragement from someone who will support your progress and to share your pain. That’s what this program is all about.
Start working Principle 4. What are you waiting for? Start working this program in earnest.
If you are new to recovery or this is your first recovery meeting, I am glad that you are here and that I can tell you how to get more of this when you get out of here….
Once we have made inventory list we need to pick one of them to work on… List everyone involved, then write out what “their parts” were in the scenario..

Then make certain that you write out YOUR part if there is one.. Then go even deeper,, what would cause someone to do so much harm to another,,, Once you figure out all of these answers by analyzing – Then you can start figuring out who needs what.. Right? Do I need to apologize,, do they, how can I get this dealt with once and for all? A sponsor can help you with this part also… They been through it,,,

Author: Rachel Beckner

Wife, Mother, Grandma and that is best ever!!!!

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