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.”
Think About It
Now that you have the background information and you’ve built your accountability team, it’s time to start writing your inventory. This lesson will provide you with the tools you need.
How do I start my inventory?
The Celebrate Recovery Inventory is divided into five sections. It will help you keep focused on reality and recall events that you may have repressed. Remember, you are not going through this alone. You are developing your support team to guide you, but even more important, you are growing in your relationship with Jesus Christ!
It will take you more than one page to write out your inventory. You have permission to copy the “Celebrate Recovery Principle 4 Inventory Worksheet” on pages 30 and 31.
Column 1: “The Person”
In this column you list the person or object you resent or fear. Go as far back as you can. Resentment is mostly unexpressed anger and fear.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
Column 2: “The Cause”
It has been said that “hurt people hurt people.” In this column you are going to list the specific actions that someone did to hurt you. What did the person do to cause you resentment and/or fear? An example would be the alcoholic father who was emotionally unavailable for you as you were growing up. Another example would be the parent who attempted to control and dominate your life. This reflective look and be very painful. But…
“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, TLB)
Column 3: “The Effect”
In this column write down how that specific hurtful action affected your life. List the effects it had on your past and your present.
Column 4: “The Damage”
Which of you basic instincts were injured?
Social – broken relationships, slander
Security – physical safety, financial loss
Sexual – abusive relationships, damaged intimacy
No matter how you have been hurt, no matter how lost you may feel, God wants to comfort and restore you.
“I will look for those that are lost, I bring back those that wander off, bandage those that are hurt, and heal those that are sick.” (Ezekiel 34:16, GND)
Column 5: “My Part”
You need to ask yourself, “What part of my resentment against another is my responsibility?” Ask God to show you your part in a broken or damaged marriage or relationship, with a distant child or parent, or maybe a lost job. In addition, list all the people whom you have hurt and how you hurt them.
“Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me and discover… if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Please note: If you have been in an abusive relationship, especially as a small child, you can find great freedom in this part of the inventory. You see that you had NO part, NO responsibility for the cause of the resentment. By simply writing the words “none” or “not guilty” in column 5, you can begin to be free from the misplaced shame and guilt you have carried with you.
Celebrate Recovery has rewritten Step 4 for those who have been sexually or physically abused:
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, realizing all wrongs can be forgiven. renounce the lie that the abuse was our fault.
- Memorize Isaiah 1:18(TLB): “Come, let’s talk this over! says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red crimson, I can make you white as wool!”
- Read the Principle 4 “Balancing the Scale” (see below).
- Keep your inventory balanced. List both the good and the bad! This is very important! As God reveals the good things that you have done in the past, or are doing in the present, list them on the reverse side of your copies of the “Celebrate Recovery Principle 4 Inventory Worksheet.”
- Continue to develop your support team.
- Pray Continuously
|Principle 4 Inventory Worksheet|
|1. The Person||Who is the object of my resentment or fear?|
|2. The Cause||What specific action did that person take that hurt me?
|3. The Effect||What effect did that action have on my life?
|4. The Damage||What damage did that action do to my basic social, security, and/or sexual instincts?|
|5. My Part||What part of the resentment am I responsible for?Who are the people I have hurt?How have I hurt them?|
|Principle 4 Verses|
|Helplessness||“For God is at work within you, helping you to want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.” (Philippians 2:13, TLB)|
|Dwelling on the past||“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!”|
|Wanting||“And it is he who will supply all your needs from his riches in glory, because of what Christ Jesus Has done for us.” (Philippians 4:19, TLB)|
|Loneliness||Jesus says, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20, TLB)|
|Oppression, Trouble||“All who are oppressed may come to him. He is a refuge for them in their times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9, TLB)|
|Fear, Doubt||“Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, TLB)|
|Melancholy, Apathy||“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24, TLB)|
|Worry||“Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” (1 Peter 5:7, TLB)|