Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Lesson 08 - Moral


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.” (Lamentations 3:40)


This evening we will be talking about listing out a Moral Inventory.

The first 6 lessons have prepared us for this step. We have learned about coming out of Denial, recognizing we are Powerless, and learning that our Hope is in Christ. We learned that in Christ we can achieve Sanity, by Turning to our hope, Christ, and putting into Action what we are learning.

Tonight we are starting a series of 4 lessons on how to do an inventory. An inventory is simply a list of issues that we want to focus on and deal with in our recovery.

The best time to work on this is during a 12 Step group. However, this can be done any time.

If there are no 12 step groups available, you could work on this with a sponsor or accountability partner.

If you are willing to do that, you might want to open it up to some other men or women.

If you are willing to do that, you might want to start a new 12 step group and do all 12 steps.

The first of the 4 lessons is the Moral Lesson. This is the theory, or the principles that re involved in doing an Inventory, such as making time, being open, relying on the Lord, and analyzing or thinking about your past. The last of the acrostic letters in this lesson is "LIST". We talk about the reason and benefits of making a list, and actually start the list in the next lesson. We will talk more about this "Moral" lesson tonight.

The second of the 4 lessons is the Inventory Lesson. In this lesson we actually step through the Inventory form and actually begin to make a list. We cover the columns on the form with headings such as the person, the cause, the effect, the damage and my part.

The third and forth of the 4 lessons brainstorming sessions that provide lots of ideas for what kinds of things we might want to work on. Things such as relationships, priorities, our attitudes, integrity the first week, and our mind, our body, our family and our church the second week.

So lets start with the first of the Inventory lessons, MORAL.

Make time

Open (Honest and Transparent)

Rely (on Jesus to Take You Through the Inventory)

Analyze (think about, meditate, connect dots)

List (why a list?)

First you need to MAKE time.

Schedule an appointment with yourself. Set aside a day or a weekend and get alone with God! God tells us in Job:

Job 33:33 (TLB): “Listen to me. Keep silence and I will teach you wisdom!”

An example of “making an appointment with God” is found in the story of the woman with the issue of blood.

Mat 9:20-22 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. (21) She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." (22) Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed at that moment.

The Woman made time to go to where Jesus was, and get as close as she could to Him. There is a strong lesson to be learned in this activity on the part of the woman. In faith she believed, and her belief was fulfilled in her actions. So it is with recovery.

The next letter in MORAL, O, stands for OPEN.

Let me express my anguish. Let me be free to speak out of the bitterness of my soul” (Job 7:11, TLB).

Open” simply means to make your inventory honest and transparent before God. When we are open we give the Holy Spirit more to work with.

Psa 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (24) See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Healing comes through confession to each other.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Some areas that we could consider when making our list.

What do I feel convicted about?

Don't confuse this with guilt. Guilt leads to self condemnation, “I'm no good”, “I can't do anything”, “I'm doomed” like an adversary accusing us. Conviction is something that the Holy Spirit uses to motivate us to a better place like a parent teaching their children.

What do I resent?

Resentment results from burying our hurts, and has the effect of creating a wall between ourselves and others. A wall between ourselves and others creates a wall between ourselves and God.

Luk 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

What are my fears?

Fear prevents us from expressing ourselves honestly and taking an honest moral inventory.

Joshua 1:9 (GNB) tells us, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.”

Am I trapped in self-pity, alibis, and/or dishonest thinking?

These are all just excuses.

The next letter is R, which stands for RELY.

Rely on Jesus to give you the courage and strength this step requires. “Come to Him”!

Isa 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. (29) He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (30) Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; (31) but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

You can renew your strength with His help. We should be sure enough about this to put our faith in it and believe we can rely on Him to bring about change.

Psalm 31:23–24 (TLB) tells us: “Oh, love the Lord, all of you who are his people; for the Lord protects those who are loyal to him.… So cheer up! Take courage if you are depending on the Lord.”

Now you are ready to ANALYZE your past honestly.

Proverbs 20:27 (GNB) says, “The Lord gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves.”

Analyze is defined as:

1) to separate into constituent parts or elements; determine the elements or essential features of

2) to examine critically, so as to bring out the essential elements or give the essence of

3) to examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results, etc.

Another word that can be used with “analyze” is “meditate”. As we think about these things, connecting dots, we realize that true insight comes in the meditation of the Lord and His works in our lives.

Psa 49:1-3 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, (2) both low and high, rich and poor alike: (3) My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.

Psa 119:15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

Psa_119:99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.

The issues that we are dealing with today are directly related to our relationship with the Lord's decrees. We will find so many connected dots between either ignorance of or rejection of His decrees and the issues we face in this life.

The Lord's decrees are the spiritual principles that He built the universe with, how things work.

L in moral: LIST.

This lesson is about getting a start in practical application of what we are learning step by step. By writing an inventory down, we are able to break the issues down into parts and identify the connections between our past behaviors and the causes of them. We can then be specific in addressing our issues and praying about them.

Lamentations 3:40 tells us, “Let us examine our ways and test them.”

One final thing that we will hear about is a balanced inventory. On the form you will have the opportunity to list both good accomplishments as well as issues we are still working on.

Wrap Up

We have heard the verse that states “greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world”.

1Jn_4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them [the spirit in the world], because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Our strength comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Without the Holy Spirit in us, we are weaker than the world.

When you accept the provision that God made for you, dying on the cross, His Spirit comes to make His dwelling in you, and THAT is what enables your recovery.

1Co 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body--whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

If you have never accepted Christ, do it tonight.

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