"The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness." (Luke 11:34)
God invites us to take inventory of both the "light" and the "darkness" of our innermost being.
"Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness." (Luke 11:35)
When God led me to introspection for the first time, it was really scary because I found mostly darkness, with very little light. Had I not already experienced victory through third-step surrender, it would have devastated me. But as it was, I had hope. I knew that God could bring light into my life -- with my cooperation -- and that gave me the courage to acknowledge the darkest parts of my inner-being. As a result, God began the process of replacing that darkness with light.
"If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light." (Luke 11:36)
This is my hope and my goal. I must admit that not all is light in my soul, but God is faithful and continues to bring more and more light into my life (dispelling the darkness), as I continue to be willing to trust and obey.
"If you do not change your direction,
you will end up where you are headed.
Have you considered where you are
headed lately?" -anonymous
I remember that sunny day in June of 1994, almost like it was yesterday. It was just the evening before that I had for the first time given my will over to God in the moment of one of my worst temptations. As I look back at that event now, I see it as the beginning of my recovery from 25 years of addiction. You may think that I should have been joyous about this wonderful victory in Christ. In a way, I was. But, now that I was beginning to understand how to end my life-long destructive habits (by co-operating with God -- Step 3), God began to show me just how sick I really was. Memories of my past behaviors came flooding into my thoughts.
At that time, I wasn't at all familiar with the the 12 steps. But as I look back at that experience now, I can clearly see that God was leading me into the 4th step on that day. The weight of my sins was so great that I don't think I could have been able to stand it if I had no hope of a better life for the future. But because of the victory of the previous day, I knew that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13). It was on that same day that I began to be convicted about confession, repentance, and amends, even though I had no idea that those too were part of the 12 steps.
Prior to recovery, I used to think that I was OK. I felt that it was everyone else who caused all my problems. But today, I believe that at least 90% of my troubles are caused by my own bad choices. I used to think that, as I grew spiritually, there should be fewer of my own issues that I needed to deal with. But as I started into recovery I began to understand this principle a little better:
"The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes." (Steps to Christ, p. 64).
Even now, after many years of recovery, I have to ask myself often, "Am I seeing my faults? How proud am I of my spiritual growth? Am I drifting away from Jesus?" When I stop to think about it, I have to admit that I am still a sinner in need of a Savior (1John 1:8). Oh it's true that, by the power of God in my life, I no longer "act out" in my former addiction and I no longer entertain the thoughts that brought me into that addiction. But that doesn't mean that I'm not still a sinner (1John 1:10). No, I still must take the time to consider where my life is spiritually. As I become more aware of my faults, I become able, by the power of God, to deal with them (Philippians 4:13).
Don't be afraid to take a "searching and fearless moral inventory" of yourself, because God will give you strength to bare it, and He WILL provide ways to help you to deal with your issues. He longs to give you a life of victory over those sins that so easily beset you (Hebrews 12:1). So, pray the prayer of the Pslamist when he said, "Hide not thy face from me; Put not thy servant away in anger: Thou hast been my help; Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation." (Psalms 27:9) and believe that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Will you let Him work in your life today?
As I read, once again, the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the phrase "when he came to himself" (Luke 15:17) seemed to pop out at me, in the context of introspection. As a result of his riotous living, this young man was in dire straits, not even knowing where his next meal would come from. It wasn't until he hit "bottom" that "he came to himself", taking "a searching and fearless moral inventory" of his life.
I wonder why it is that we often wait until disaster strikes before we finally take a deep, introspective look at our lives. For me, I think it was fear -- fear of how hard it might be to see the truth -- fear of the consequences of confession. As my recovery began in 1994, like the prodigal son, It wasn't until things got really bad that I began to take an honest inventory of my sinful life. I wish now that I had taken this step much sooner. Today, it's a daily process for me, because I don't ever want to go back to where I was.
The good news is that, just like the prodigal son, I always find the compassion, love and forgiveness of the Father, when I confess. More about confession...
"We won't dare to place ourselves in the same league or to compare ourselves with some of those who are promoting themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they have no understanding." (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Rather than making a difficult inventory of my own moral condition (introspection), it is much easier to make an extrospective (examining what is outside yourself) inventory of my environment and/or of other people. I would much rather compare myself with you than to look inside to compare myself with Jesus, and His direction in my life. But, when I choose extrospection, I lose a wonderful opportunity for emotional and spiritual well-being.
Introspection is often painful because of the mess we are likely to find in ourselves. Most are unwilling to take this step, finding it much too depressing to even consider. I would like to suggest that this commonly held view is due to our lack of trust and lack of understanding.
If I don't believe that God will help me overcome those sins which so easily beset me (Hebrews 12:1), then introspection could lead me into deep depression. Conversely, if I have total confidence that God is willing, able, and desiring to give me peace and to make me whole, then introspection becomes a privilege! It becomes a tool to help me understand why I am the way I am. It helps me to know what to pray for. It helps me to know what sort of situations and/or people to avoid. It helps me to understand the direction my life needs to take. And the list of benefits goes on and on...
The good news is that no matter how ugly the results of introspection, it is still true that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13) And, it is still true that Christ will never leave me, nor forsake me :-) (Hebrews 13:5).
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Heb 12:1)
I've been thinking about why it is that I need to make a "searching and fearless moral inventory" of myself. And what is it that I hope to accomplish by doing this?
If I really believe and am practicing the first three steps, then it seems that I need to do what I can (no matter how little that may be) to understand and deal with those things that are preventing God (my Higher Power) from restoring me to sanity (Step 2). The Bible tells us that it is sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). But what is sin? It seems to me that there is only one definition of sin in the Bible. Here it is: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4).
Therefore, as part of my moral inventory, I need to confess all my known sins. By so doing, God restores that union between me and Him (1 John 1:9). I also need to consider what my besetting sins (Heb 12:1) are -- those things that regularly cause me to fall to temptation. I need to understand these things so that I can continue in this recovery process -- so that I can cooperate with God as He works to change me to be more like Him.
As Christians, we believe that, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). So, why then should we make "a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves"? Doesn't God just erase our past? No. He forgives and cleanses, but He doesn't give us amnesia.
It's been said that, the most powerful thing we can do for the kingdom of God, is to witness to others of the way that God is working in our lives to heal our dysfunction. If that's true, then how are we going to do that if we can't remember what our dysfunction was? How are we going to overcome, not only by the blood of the Lamb, but also by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11), if we have no testimony of what we used to be like?
I know that, for me, I have a choice. Either I can choose to continue to evaluate my life (and deal with it), or I will revert back to the insane cycle of repeating the same negative behaviors over and over again, while expecting different results.
"Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light." (Luke 11:35-36)
Planning trips can be most enjoyable, because of the anticipation of seeing (and learning) new things or maybe even enjoying again, places we've been before.
When I travel, it's not a fearful thing for me to look at the map to study where I've been, where I am, and to plan where to go next, and how to get there. In fact it's fun thing. Occasionally, it can be painful because I made a wrong turn, or failed to make the right turn. It may even cause frustration to my passengers, or to those who may be waiting for me at my destination. But, it's always good to get back on the right road and continue on toward my destination.
So, why then are we so fearful (when we travel the road of life) to study the map of where we've been, where we are, and where we want to go? Why do we naturally shrink from the idea of charting a new course for a better life?
"... My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Hebrews 12:5-7)
It is painful to remember where I made wrong turns in my life, and how I caused pain for other people. But I must remember that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). It's like getting back on the right road again, and that's a good thing :-)
Why should I continue to drive in circles around the polluted slums of the inner-city, when I can follow the road map to the beautiful forests with fresh air? Likewise, why should I continue to live in the guilt and shame of the past when God has provided a road map to a better, more fulfilling life?
Why should I be fearful of taking inventory of my life -- no matter how dysfunctional it has been -- no matter how low I've sunk in depravity? God has a thousand ways to untangle our sinful lives and to make us new creatures in Christ. Won't you join me today in making a fearless moral inventory?
Let's chart a new course today that will bring us a more fulfilling life. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). So let's plan our trip to Heaven...
"... I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Call upon me, ... and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall... find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And... I will turn away your captivity" (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
It has been said that our eyes are the window to our soul (Matthew 6:22-23). Does it make you nervous when people don't look you in the eye? It does me. It especially bothers me when a dog won't look me in the eye. I once had a dog like that. I couldn't trust him. If there was anyway he could get through the gate or over or under the fence, he'd be gone. He wouldn't even think of coming when I called. A dog that I had later was just the opposite. He always looked me in the eye. It's as if he is trying to see what I'm thinking. If I gave him the look he wants, he would be immediately in my lap. We're nose to nose and he was expecting some loving attention.
I want to be more like my dog in my relationship with my Benevolent Master. As I look into His eyes of Infinite Love -- though I only see dimly now (1 Corinthians 13:12) -- I always find the look that I want. It's the look of acceptance, no matter how bad my behavior has been. It's the look of understanding, having been tempted in all points like I am (Hebrews 4:15) (Hebrews 2:18). It's the look of compassion. It's the look of forgiveness. It's the look of unconditional Love.
More than all of this, when I look into the eyes of Love, I see the eyes of Infinite Holiness. I am thankful for the dimness of my vision, for no sinful being, with clear vision, can look into the eyes of Holiness and live. Saul, on the road to Damascus, was blinded by only a partial exposure to the Holy eyes of Jesus (Acts 9:1-6). The contrast between the light of Holiness and Saul's character was so extreme as to cause a searching moral inventory of his sinful life.
And so it is with me. I no longer fear to look into His eyes of Holiness, because I trust Him to dim my vision so that I will only see as much as He gives me strength to bare. And I trust Him to clean me up, as I cooperate with Heavenly agencies. That's my God! You can trust my God :-)
"Have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
'My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.'
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?" (Hebrews 12:5-7)
It was the morning after the evening of my first victory in Jesus when it was as if my whole sinful life passed before me. God brought back to my conscious memory all of my sinful thoughts and actions of my previous 25 years of practicing my addictions. The realization of the depth of my wretched life of sin was nearly overwhelming.
For years I knew that I was powerless over my addictions and that my life was out-of-control, but this was different. This was a deep, heart-felt inventory of my dreadfully sinful condition. I am extremely thankful that God didn't lay this heavy load on me before my first victory through surrender to Jesus. If He had, it would likely have crushed me, since I had no hope of ever conquering my evil behavior.
But that wasn't the case now. I had the keys to victory. I had experienced (for the first time in my life), absolute surrender to God in the midst of temptation. And, even though it was extremely hard to face my past, I knew that Jesus was holding my hand. I knew that I no longer had to live in my past, but instead I could move on to a brighter tomorrow, through constant surrender of my will to Jesus. Praise God!
I have no other explanation as to why this spiritual inventory happened, other than it must have been God. Looking back to that experience now, I see that it was an absolute necessity that I go through the pain of being totally honest with myself about my condition. It prepared me for the next conviction that God soon brought to me.
"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me"(2 Corinthians 12:9)
Have you ever seen that kind of attitude in others? Have you ever felt that way yourself? I sure have -- on both accounts.
It's easy to compare ourselves with what we see in other people. When we do that, it may temporarily make us feel better about ourselves. So, we rationalize more and more of our bad behaviors. Since "Joe Blow is a lot worse than me", I must be OK. But this arrogant way of thinking is not helpful to our relationships or to our sense of well-being.
When I consider the pure life of Christ and His great moral standard written in His Holy Law, my life doesn't look so good. It is only with this perspective that I can begin to judge my true moral condition.
Of course, there is danger in this approach too. When I realize just how far I am from being like Jesus, it can be a real downer. The powers of evil would love to take this opportunity to sink me into depression and to trigger even worse behavior, pulling me even further from Jesus. For certain, that is NOT what we need!
There's a ditch on both sides of the road. We need to stay out of both the ditch of complacency and the ditch of depression. So, what would be the middle-of-the-road approach? I need to be aware of my strengths and my weaknesses and deal with them in healthy ways. By God's grace and power, He can turn my weaknesses into strengths. That's why He said =>
"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9)
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Hebrews 12:1-7)
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)
Even though the results are often painful, I need to search my own heart regularly, asking my Creator to show me where I am failing. Without His assistance, It would be easy for me to say, "I'm OK. It's everyone else that's the problem." But, I have to keep reminding myself that it's not my job to take other people's inventory. I need God to search my heart -- to take MY inventory. I need to listen to His evaluation of my life and I need to honestly own my weaknesses and my mistakes.
Yeah, it can be hard, but the alternative is a lot harder. It may seem easier to just stuff my garbage -- pretend it doesn't exist. But, when I do, sooner or later it comes out in destructive ways that damages myself and others. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to take responsibility for my mistakes, deal with them, and move on to a better life.
"Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Over a period of several weeks, I began to feel more and more pain in one my teeth. Eventually, the pain spread to one whole side of my head. All of this pain, I found out later, was caused by some damaged tissue in one of the three roots of one of my molars. It was such a small part of my body, but it caused me a great deal of pain.
Now, what do you think would have happened if I had chosen to only medicate the pain, using stronger and stronger pain reliever so I wouldn't feel the pain, but never getting the cause of the problem fixed? I suspect that infection would spread and I would lose that tooth. Eventually it may even become systemic, leading to my death.
For many years, I medicated my emotional pain with addiction, stuffing my feelings deeper and deeper, never fixing the cause of the problem. It was a dreadful downward spiral with the addictive acting-out, due to the pain, leading to temporary relief, leading to even greater pain because I acted out. The infection was becoming systemic and I was dying.
But shortly after I began to learn to cooperate with God, surrendering to His will, He brought me to a place of looking inward, beyond the pain to the root causes of my pain. With my permission, it was like He opened a peep hole in the top of my "tooth" so that I could begin to see the damage inside. As I recognized my issues, I confessed my sins (1 John 1:9), became willing to have God dig that mess out of my "tooth", and asked Him to perform a "root canal" on my life. What a relief it was to get that damaged "tissue" out of that "tooth".
The Heavenly surgeon gives us this promise: "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26)
The surgery brought its own pain. It was hard to let go of a piece of my body, in the case of the physical root canal. And, it was hard to let go of a piece of who I am, in the case of the spiritual root canal. But I can tell you, without hesitation, that in both cases, the pain was definitely worth the gain!
Now, let's look a little deeper into that feeling of pain. Was the pain of my toothache bad, or evil? No. Without that pain, I would have never known I had a problem, until it led to even more serious problems, right? That pain was really a blessing to me, in that it told me that there was a problem that I needed to deal with -- kind of like a fire alarm.
What about emotional pain? Is it really any different? Can there be something evil about the way I feel? Or, are my feelings also like a fire alarm, signaling me that there are some deeper issues that I need Divine help in rooting out. I've heard that when we "stuff" our feelings over a long period of time, we are likely to contract one or more of quite a long list of physical ailments. I wouldn't be surprised if it were true.
I've been thinking a lot about the connection between feelings and temptation. I once had a pastor friend who told me that, when I am tempted, it's because I have already sinned. Of course, the Bible is pretty clear that this is not true: "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15). But, I'm wondering if we might be saying the same thing as this pastor when we think that of our feelings are somehow evil.
Let me try to explain what I'm thinking, by example. Let's say that I'm feeling attracted to someone other than my wife. Is that feeling evil? Would it be a sin for me to be attracted to another woman? Or, does it just lead to temptation to sin? It seems to me, that when temptation comes, I have a choice to make as to what I am going to do with that feeling/temptation. If I choose to lust after her, certainly it is a sin, because Jesus said, "... anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Another choice I could make is to deny that feeling -- pretend it doesn't exist -- stuff it. But wait... that would be like ignoring the pain in my tooth. That can't be good! A third choice I could make would be to admit to myself, to God, and possibly to a trusted friend (James 5:16) that I'm having this feeling. Then, as I surrender my will to God's, asking Him, "... Lord, what would you have me to do?" (Acts 9:6), He gives me the victory over my temptation -- without sin.
Keeping in mind that anger is a feeling, I wonder if the apostle Paul had this principle in mind when he said, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:" (Ephesians 4:26)? Maybe...
I believe that my feelings are the result of my past experiences and choices (both good and bad). I can't change my current feelings, because I can't change my past. However, as I deal appropriately with those feelings, surrendering my thoughts, feelings, and actions to God, I can change (by the grace and power of God) my future feelings. I praise God for that! He is Awesome!
Some may ask, "Why is this important?" It is my belief that the forces of evil will use everything they can to shame us for what we've been tempted by, even though it was them who tempted us! Understanding the difference between feelings, temptation, and sin will give satan one less foot-hold into our lives.
When cutting an onion, certain enzymes are released which tend to bring tears to our eyes. Generally speaking, people look for all kinds of ways to avoid this pain. I've heard of people wearing goggles or cutting the onions under water, as well as many other ways to avoid the unpleasant effects of onion cutting. Othersl claim that cutting onions may actually have medicinal benefits. Proponents of natural healing have long taken advantage of these benefits.
Quoting Eva Wilson, "When looking at the symptoms of [a] cold, it is ironic that we would treat this ailment with an almost like-with-like therapy." In a similar way, it may seem ironic that we would treat our sin-sick condition by making "a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves". Generally speaking, we'd rather ignore our problems so we don't feel the pain. This therapy (moral inventory) has been likened to the pealing of an onion, in that as we peal back each layer (issue) of our lives, we discover another "layer" that we need to deal with. And, I've found that to be true in my own recovery process. But today, I'm thinking of another way to look at this process.
As we become more and more surrendered to God, resulting from the recognition of our need and our trust in a loving God, it seems like He "cuts" through those "layers" of our "onion" of dysfunction . This process is painful. It exposes hidden layers of stuff we have been in denial (or forgotten) about and it stings the eyes of our understanding, bringing many tears. But ironically, through all of this cutting pain, we find restoration of our souls to God through the release of the healing "enzymes" of acknowledgment of our sins which so easily beset us (Hebrews 12:1).
When we embrace this healing process, rather than putting on the "goggles" of denial, we are divinely propelled into the more advanced steps of healing and recovery, such as confession, amends and witnessing, which all lead to a more fulfilling life, with greater peace, joy and love. IMHO, I think that the pain of introspection (or cutting onions) is well worth the gain. Praise God!
As I seek to take a moral inventory of my life, one of the things I must deal with is guilt. Knowing that I am a sinner (1 John 1:8-10), I need to ask myself some questions:
Is my guilt authentic? Do I have this guilt because I have sinned against God and/or another person? Or, have I taken on a false guilt over people or situations over which I have no control? This is a good time to pray the prayer of serenity: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference..." (Reinhold Niebuhr)
Are there unconfessed sins in my life right now? If so, I need to remember that God has promised to forgive me if I will just confess (1 John 1:9). If I have sinned against another person, am I willing to make reconciliation? (Matthew 5:24) If someone has sinned against me, am I willing to forgive them? (Luke 6:37)
What is my character really like? Wherein do my thoughts and/or actions not agree with my belief system? If I want my character to grow positively, I must be honest with myself and earnestly pray that God would show me (as much as I'm able to bear) just where I am failing.
I fearlessly make this inventory of my life because I know that His "grace is sufficient" and His "strength is made perfect" (2 Cor 12:9) in my weakness. He is able to turn my weaknesses into strengths. "I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13). And, He "will never leave" me, "nor forsake" me (Heb 13:5).
A friend of mine tells the story of a farmer who has just spent the entire day working his fields on his tractor. It was a long, hot, day for the farmer, and since his tractor had no cab, he was covered with dirt. He had worked well past dusk, and parked his tractor out in the barn. So now, he has only the faint light from the farmhouse windows to lead him home. He begins to notice that he is dirty and so dusts himself off. But, as he gets closer and closer to the light, he sees more and more just how dirty he has become, all along, continuing to dust himself off, as best he can.
So it is with life. For years and years, as many of us have acted in foolishness, we have accumulated more and more "dirt". As we moved deeper and deeper into our destructive behaviors, darkness came in to hide from us the reality of just how "dirty" we really were. Then, as we engage in the process of sanctification by admitting powerlessness (John 5:19,30) and His all-powerfulness (John 15:5) and start to surrender our will and our life to Him (Acts 9:1-6), we begin to walk toward the light of Heaven. In so doing, we now begin to see more and more just how "dirty" we have become (the illumination of introspection). More and more, we come out of denial about our true condition. More and more, God gives us the grace and strength (1 Corinthians 10:13) to, not only understand, but to also deal with (dust off), the deep, dark, issues in our lives.
Even though it has been painful for me to go through this process (since I've been very 'dirty'), I praise God for introspection because the grace of God is much more abundant than ALL of our sins (Romans 5:20). As I have been learning to cooperate with Him, He continues to "dust me off" and to bring me closer and closer to the light of Heaven, through Jesus Christ my Savior. My prayer is that it may be so for you too.
"All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; But Jehovah weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto Jehovah, And thy purposes shall be established." (Proverbs 16:2-3)
Step 4: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."