Have you taken an inventory of your life? The purpose of taking an inventory of your life is to face the truth about yourself. Truth is the opposite of denial. By putting the truth in writing, you demonstrate that you are ready to break free from the patterns and behaviors of denial.
But taking an inventory isn’t easy. Facing the truth is painful because you must also face the reality of what you have lost in your life due to your shortcomings. It’s never easy to look at your deceits, abuses, shame, and disappointments. But even though this is a time of discomfort, know that the steps of recovery will lead you to humility and to live a life full of happiness. It may not feel that way as you work on your inventory, but those who have made the journey before you will testify to that truth.
When Jesus came to earth, He brought with Him “grace and truth” (John 1:14, ESV). Here’s how the New Living Translation puts it: “So the Word [Jesus] became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.”
Step Four of Life Recovery states, “We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” This step is a process of facing the truth with God’s help. When you face reality, you also experience God’s grace. And the more you experience the truth, the more you will experience God’s grace. Taking a thorough inventory will result in humility, a teachable heart, and feeling accepted for who you are.
How long does it take to work on this step? The truth is, there is value in “taking inventory” regularly throughout our lives. After you finish going through the twelve steps, taking inventory of your life will become an ongoing process. Each time you take an inventory, you may go more in-depth, or you may hit areas you were previously unaware of. Remember, recovery is a process of growth—growth is a lifelong journey.
As you walk this journey day by day, remember that by identifying your sins and your shortcomings, you are recognizing the things that are blocking you from God, who loves you, believes in you, and accepts you for who you are.
James tells us it’s time to get serious about our fearless moral inventory. He writes, “For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like” (James 1:23-24).
You should not take a quick inward glance, and then even more quickly walk away and forget what you saw. Don’t take any shortcuts; instead, do a fearless inventory of yourself. Begin with the areas that are the most troublesome for you and the most obvious. Then follow wherever that path leads. The more fearless and honest you are, the more you will benefit from doing an inventory.
Take time to reflect on your progress in recovery up to this point. Face the truth—it’s a difficult but necessary step. And thank God for His faithfulness in responding to you as you have invited Him into this journey with you.