Thursday, May 11, 2023

Lesson 19 - Crossroads


Principle 7: Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

Step 10: We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12)


As we go through these lessons each week, you should understand that these lessons match the lessons in the 12 Step Studies. If you are currently in a 12 Step group, you will recognize the each lesson in the 12 Step participant’s guides.

If you are not in a 12 Step group, these lessons will give you a preview of sorts to what the 12 Step group is about. The 12 Step groups go through these lessons in a lot greater detail.

Let's review where we have been in this round of lessons.

  1. (Step 1) Facing your denial that we are powerless

  2. (Step 2) Come to believe in a power that can restore us to sanity.

  3. (Step 3) Turn our lives over to Jesus

    Jesus is the one who brings recovery by His Holy Spirit. Believing this is fundamental to our recovery. This is why we invited people to a decision point at the conclusion of each meeting, to help they get off to a good start.

  4. (Step 4) Taking an honest look at your life with a Moral Inventory

  5. (Step 5) Confessing all your wrongdoing to God and someone else (A Sponsor).

  6. (Step 6) Being humble enough to allow God to make major changes in you

  7. (Step 7) Ask God to remove our shortcomings

    Steps 4-7 focus on how we allow Jesus to bring change to our minds.

  8. (Step 8) Make a list of those we harmed and becoming willing to forgive or make amends

  9. (Step 9) Offering your forgiveness to those that have hurt you

    Steps 8 and 9 focus on behavior change following a change of mind regarding those behaviors, and especially our relationships with others.

By the time you complete these 9 steps in your 12 Step group, you will be experiencing major behavior change in your life. When you get to this point, the temptation can be to think all of your work is done. Some drop out of recovery at that point and attempt to go it without the support you have had, hence, Crossroads. What will you decide to do at that point?

1Co 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

Your “Crossroad” is to determine if you are going to continue with the last three steps:

    • (Step 10) Continue to take personal inventory, and when wrong, promptly admit it.

    • (Step 11) Seek through prayer and meditation to improve your conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for yourself and the power to carry that out.

    • (Step 12) Carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

These last three steps are the steps focus on making the change in your life solid and permanent. These are not just a recovery steps, but they are steps that every Christian should consider for themselves in living out a Christ centered life.

Step 10

Tonight we are going to spend a little time looking at some practical steps in Step 10. (We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.)

It is broken down into three activities:


The what: “We continued to take personal inventory …”

The why: “ … and when we were wrong …”

The then what: “ … promptly admitted it.”


Of course, we need an acrostic. Tonight the word is TEN.

Take time to do a daily inventory

Evaluate the good and the bad

Need to admit our wrongs promptly


1. TAKE time to do a daily inventory

The what: “We continued to take personal inventory …”

Lamentations 3:40 exhorts us to “examine our ways and test them, and … return to the Lord.”

To inventory something is simply to count it.

We continue to need to ask ourselves these questions:

  • What good did I do today?

  • In what areas did I blow it today?

  • Did I do or say anything that hurt anyone today?

  • Do I owe anyone amends?

  • What did I learn from my actions today?

I do this on a daily basis. I reflect on my day to see if I harmed someone, acted or reacted out of fear or selfishness, or went out of my way to show kindness.

As we stressed in Principle 4, our daily inventories need to be balanced. We need to look at the things we did right as well as the areas in which we missed the mark and blew it!

Believe it or not, by the time we get to Principle 7, (Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.) we actually start doing a lot of things right (change of behavior). But if we are not careful, we can slowly slip back into our old habits, hang-ups, and dysfunctions, so we need to take regular, ongoing inventories.


2. EVALUATE the good and the bad.

The why: “ … and when we were wrong …”

First John 1:8–10 (TLB) says: “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins). If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for he says we have sinned.”

The reality is that we all sin, pretty much all the time. Taking a daily inventory and reflecting on our day will surely reveal that to us. But God's grace provides forgiveness as we sin. Should we go on sinning? Of course not, and the purpose of evaluating the listed items in our daily inventory is to bring awareness to them and to ask God for help in those areas.

Rom 6:1-2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (2) By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?


3. We NEED to admit our wrongs promptly.

The then what: “ … promptly admitted it.”

In Matthew 5:23–24 (MSG), Jesus tells us, “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then, and only then, come back and work things out with God.”

Matthew conveys a sense of urgency in this passage. Jesus is providing instruction for correct living. He is telling us to make things right with our fellow mankind, before coming to Him to make things right. If our relationships with others is not right, then our relationship with God will be constricted. Obedience to God in matters like these result in blessing. 



The 12 Steps provide a systematic path to recovery. The first 3 steps focus on developing our relationship with Jesus, and steps 4-7 focus on bringing a change of mind. The last three steps focus on how to allow Jesus to bring mind and behavior change and life through our relationships with others.

This happens by allowing the Holy Spirit to help us in making an inventory of the good and bad in our life. The Holy Spirit then guides and leads us to asking for forgiveness from God and the people in our past and present lives.

In the last three steps, starting with this one, we determine with God's help to go down the road that will enable lasting recovery by maintaining a close daily contact with Jesus and those around us.

The Crossroads Lesson brings this decision to your awareness. The temptation is to say we have done enough and risk sliding back to old behaviors, or to keep going and make what we are learning a permanent way of life.

This decision at some point is made by every Christian, not just those in recovery. Let me close with a collection of scriptures from the Letter to the Hebrews.

Heb 3:14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

Heb 6:11-12 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. (12) We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Heb 10:35-36 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (36) You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

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