Making a Moral Inventory:
Includes a Step
By Terry D.
“Oh no, is it really time to make a searching
and fearless moral inventory of myself? I can’t do this, I would have a
list that’s a mile long, and it would be too hard, and take too long!!!”
This is a common response from many people in recovery. Why is it that so
many people are afraid of Step 4? Well, I hate to admit it, but many
people are afraid of completing their moral inventory. Now, I’d like to
explain why Step 4 is so important, and why there is no reason to fear
completing a personal moral inventory.
Many of us who are in recovery
have spent most of our lives in the shadows of self-induced loneliness.
We would continually drown our sorrow and regret with alcohol or drugs so
we wouldn’t have to face reality and the truth. By doing a personal moral
inventory, we can finally expose and reveal all the things that we’ve been
hiding. This simple fact has been explained in the Bible, and I’d like to
mention an important scripture that states: “…First wash the inside of
the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too” (Matthew 23:26). As
we start to make our moral inventory, we start to “wash the inside,” and
we begin to uncover the hidden aspects of our lives. Doing a personal
moral inventory is necessary for us to reveal everything about ourselves,
so we can work on our character defects and shortcomings.
When we begin to encounter the
pain and sadness of completing our moral inventory, we will need
encouragement, joy, and strength from the God of our understanding. We
must recognize the fact that God has the ability to help heal our pain and
regret, and He cares for us while we’re on our journey towards personal
growth and self-improvement.
Personally, I believe that God
desires to find people who will recognize their shortcomings as an
invitation for His love and mercy. All of our character defects,
shortcomings, and inadequacies will allow room for God’s love and
forgiveness to become revealed to a great extent in our lives. As we
begin to recognize that God’s love will replace our character defects,
then we will have no reason to fear making our personal moral inventory.
We can instead become excited that our self-examination will bring more of
God’s love and mercy into our lives.
It is entirely possible to make a
searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We have no reason to
fear because we have already been accepted and loved by the God of our
understanding. Leave no room for despair because God’s forgiveness and
love is ready and waiting to replace all of the character defects and
shortcomings that come out of hiding. We have already accepted a Higher
Power into our lives by the time we begin Step 4. The God of our
understanding is now the foundation on whom we can establish our new way
A very, very important passage
from the Bible states: “You will know the truth and the truth will set you
free” (John 8:32). On our journey in recovery, all the steps and actions
we take - that has been suggested - all lead us to personal freedom and
spiritual growth. We should all know that as we do our moral inventory,
we will come to learn the truth, and that truth will truly set us free
from the destruction and insanity of our past. As we face the truth, we
can finally release the weight that was heavily obstructing our whole way
of life. We can finally move forward, and positively progress as we learn
and grow from our past mistakes. Our spirit becomes renewed through this
process, and we can finally let go and let God help to remove our past
failures and shortcomings. We come to notice a new light, a brilliant
light that leads us on the path to victory. We can now rise above the
limitations of our past, and excel into a new realm of life, hope, and
serenity. There are so many rewards from completing our personal moral
inventory. Stay fearless and honest and you will surely reap the rewards
of truth and enlightenment.
For everyone who is ready to
complete their moral inventory, I’ve designed a Step 4 Worksheet that is
easy to use, and it will be a convenient way for you to list your faults,
weaknesses, resentments, fears, and improper behaviors. Please click
below for a printable version of the Step 4 Worksheet.
Step 4 Worksheet
Before completing your
personal moral inventory, I strongly suggest that you read my personal
Step 4 article that describes in detail all the important aspects of this
particular Step. Please click here to read about
Remember, as you start working this Step, it is important
that you stay honest, open-minded, and willing to list everything that
pops in your mind. An honest and thorough completion of this Step will
truly be beneficial to your recovery. You will surely become set free
from the bondage of your past. God Bless. Good luck to all, and to all a
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