This is a continuation of the sermon series recap taught by Pastor Bob Barker from Crossroads Community Church. See previous posts from steps 1-3!
The 4th step in becoming a Whole Person and Christian, as modeled after the 12 step program many people who are addicted to substances go through, loosely states, “Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”. Pastor put it this way, “list your own faults.”
It makes sense that Pastor shared that, too often, people going through the 12 step recovery process leave programs at this step. While we can often admit we’re powerless, that we need God to change, and that God is really the one who implements the needed changes in our lives…….going beyond that is more difficult. Putting it down, in black and white….listing our FAULTS is another thing all together. As Pastor shared – and as I fully acknowledged in my own life – many of us lie about ourselves or present a very fake/created front to survive. And when you live like that, it usually involves so many lies that – when you begin to unravel them in this process – more lies come to light. Pastor Bob likened it to the Wizard of Oz, who presented this omnipotent ruler and provider for a nation, but really was a little man that knew how to put on a good show.
I am that person on many levels. SoI fully admit that breaking down the lies, then listing the faults associated with the lies (my very life) can be very intimidating! And yet, even the Bible encourages this self-review! Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.”
And it doesn’t stop there – you really need to WRITE THEM DOWN! And once written down, sharing them with GOD and one other person is necessary- which is Step 5. Loosely stated, this step says, “Admit to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Can you say OUCH? Pastor added that it takes real discipline to be able to confess our wrongs! But it is SO important to stop the cycle that got us there in the first place AND to break the chains that hold us back. The things that harbored resentment in us, maybe even as children, turns into denial as we age. What does that mean? Well, as I mentioned earlier, when you begin to list your faults, you realize it begins the unraveling process as more and more faults come to mind. And to consider SHARING those faults with God (who really, by the way, will NOT be surprised in hearing them!) and one other person will certainly open a “can of worms”. So often, as adults caught in a horrible cycle, we prefer to deny that we have any issues and leave well enough alone. So it’s important to realize that when we RESENT things or people (those who have turned their back on you, for those who attacked you……the list goes on.) it can create JUSTIFICATION in your poor behavior and adds to your faults. And most importantly, resentment hurts YOU, not THEM!
Resentment breeds diseases in our lives (physical, mental). In manifests itself in perceptions such as feeling injured, violated, left out. So how can I really start to break those chains? Think about the resentment you have in your life and how it affects your life. Write down something like this:
I resent xxxxxx because xxxxxxx. This affects my self esteem.
I seek approval from my friends to make me feel better about myself. This affects my relationships with them.
I rescue others/please others to be loved. This builds resentment when they don’t xxxxxxxx.
Try this yourself to help break the chains of faults and resentments in your life. Stop the cycle of perfection (or whatever your “presentation” is) and move to being whole as God intended you to be!