Celebrate Recovery Lesson 20 – Daily Inventory

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Principle 7

Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

Step 10

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

1 Corinthians 10:12

Tonight we want to focus on the how-to of Step 10.

But first, in our last lesson it was suggested that we keep a journal for seven days. I know for many of you it was the first experience in writing down your thoughts on a daily basis. I thought it would be interesting to randomly call on some of you to come up here and read them for the whole group. Just kidding!

But, it is important to recap our day in written form—the good and the bad, the successes and the times when we blew it. Here’s why:

  1. When you write down areas in which you owe amends, it will help you see if patterns are developing, so you can identify them and work on them with the help of Jesus Christ and your sponsor.
  2. You can keep the amends you owe to a very “short list.” As soon as you write down an issue you can make a plan to PROMPTLY offer your amends. After you make the amends you can cross it off in your journal – that is so rewarding!!!

Inventory

Some of you may have had trouble getting started writing in your journal. Let me give you three hints that will help you get started putting the ink on the paper.

  1. Last time we talked about starting off by writing down just one thing that happened that particular day for which we are thankful. Just one thing can get you started, and it will also help you sleep better that night.
  2. Ask your accountability partner/sponsor to hold you accountable for writing in your journal each night.
  3. This is the one that really works for me! Memorize Galatians 5:22–23, the “fruit of the Spirit”:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Daily ask yourself these questions to prompt your writing, starting each question with the word “today”:

  • How did I show love to others?
  • Did I act in an unloving way toward anyone?
  • Did others see in me the joy of having a personal relationship with the Lord? If not, why not?
  • How was my serenity, my peace? Did anything happen that caused me to lose it? What was my part in it?
  • Was I patient? What caused me to lose my patience? Do I owe anyone amends?
  • Would anyone say that I was kind/good? In what ways did I act unkind to another?
  • How was my faithfulness?
  • Did I keep my word with everyone?
  • How was my gentleness and self-control? Did I lose my temper, speak a harsh or unkind word to someone?

As we work Step 10 and Principle 7, we begin the journey of applying what we have discovered in the first nine steps. We humbly live daily—in reality, not denial. We have done our best to amend our past. Through God’s guidance, we can make choices about the emotions that affect our thinking and actions. We start to take action—positive action—instead of constant reaction.

In Principle 7 we desire to grow daily in our new relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Instead of attempting to be in control of every situation and every person we come in contact with, or spinning out of control ourselves, we are starting to exhibit self-control, the way God wants. Remember “self under control” is what we are seeking. Self under God’s control is what we are striving for.

God has provided us with a daily checklist for our new lifestyle. It’s called the “Great Commandment,” and it is found in Matthew 22:37–40: Jesus said:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul and … mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

When you do your daily personal inventory, ask yourself:

Today, did my actions show what the second greatest commandment tells me to do? Did I love my neighbor (others) as myself?

As we live the two commandments by putting the principles and steps into action in our lives, we will become more like Christ. We will become doers of God’s Word, not just hearers. James 1:22 says:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Our actions need to be consistent with our talk. You may be the only Bible someone ever reads. That’s being a real “Living Bible.” That’s how the apostle Paul lived. He says in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 :

Our very lives were further proof to you of the truth of our message.

Others should see God’s truth shown in our lives.

Step 10 does not say how often to take an inventory, but I would like to offer three suggestions that can help us keep on the right road, God’s road to recovery.

Ongoing

Do an ongoing inventory

We can keep an ongoing inventory throughout the day. The best time to admit we are wrong is the exact time that we are made aware of it. Why wait? Let me give you an example.

You had a rough day at work, you come home and are snappy with your wife when she asks you a simple question. You can instantly apologize, or you can shrug it off because she knows your job is rough and should expect that from you….

The problem with the latter is that those things get easier every single time you do it and then pile up and its nothing pretty when finally dealt with all at once.

You don’t have to wait until you go home, cook dinner, watch TV, and then start your journal. If you do an ongoing inventory during the day, you can keep your amends list very short!

Daily

Do a daily inventory

At the end of each day, we look over our daily activities, the good and the bad. We need to search where we might have harmed someone or where we acted out of anger or fear. But once again, remember to keep your daily inventory balanced. Be sure to include the things that you did right throughout the day. The best way to do this is to journal.

Maybe spend about fifteen minutes just before going to sleep, journal the day’s events, asking God to show you the wrongs that you have committed. Then, as promptly as I can the next morning, admit them and make my amends.

Periodic

Do a periodic inventory

I take a periodic inventory about every three months. I get away on a “mini retreat”! I would encourage you to try it. Bring your daily journal with you, and pray as you read through the last ninety days of your journal entries. Ask God to show you areas in your life that you can improve on in the next ninety days and celebrate the victories that you have made.

By taking an ongoing, a daily, and a periodic inventory we can work Step 10 to the best of our abilities. With God’s help we can keep our side of the street clean.

Here are a few key verses to learn and follow for Step 10.

Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.

Proverbs 16:23

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth, but only such (speech) as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others.

Ephesians 4:29

A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.

Proverbs 16:21

A word of encouragement does wonders!

Proverbs 12:25

If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise.

1 Corinthians 13:1

Step 10 daily action plan

  1. Continue to take a daily inventory, and when wrong, promptly make amends.
  2. Summarize the events of your day in your journal.
  3. Read and memorize one of the Principle 7a verses.
  4. Work all steps and principles to the best of your ability.

The key verse for this lesson is Mark 14:38:

Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

Mark 14:38

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