Real willingness — always expressed in diligent action — is absolutely indispensable. By honestly recognizing our need for help and open-mindedly accepting help from others, we willingly display the kind of fortitude that is needed to continue our work of recovery. Recovery requires courage. Courage is the objective willingness to move forward in spite of our fear – to move in the very direction in which we are afraid.
When you made the decision to turn your will and your life over to God, you became a partner with Him, partnering to develop His miraculous purposes in your life. Now, doing your personal inventory is your partnership ‘response-ability.’ No one can do this but you. While we are doing our work, God helps our hearts trust and our minds to think in healthier, more productive ways.
“It is not your diligence; it is not your examination of yourself that will enlighten you concerning sin. Instead, it is God who does all the revealing… If you try to be the one who does the examining, there is a very good chance that you will deceive yourself.”
God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out.
Proverbs 20:27 MSG
The first step toward fortitude is dissecting our fears to find out what it really is that we’re afraid of, then asking ourselves, is this fear legitimate? When we take the time to look at our fears in this way, most often we’ll find that the fear overlooks God’s active presence. If the fear is one of loss, remind yourself of God’s promised provision. If the fear is one of ridicule, thank God you have an opportunity to grow in humility! Remind yourself that nothing can happen to you apart from God’s watchful care. He doesn’t blink, and He can use any circumstance for His good.
Gary L. Thomas, The Pursuit of Glory
He is working in you. God is helping you obey Him. God is doing what He wants done in you.
Philippians 2:13 NLT
Sexual addiction is not the cause of our moral failings nor is sexual addiction a moral failing in and of itself. Sexual addiction and the subsequent moral failings are the result of spiritual and emotional malnourishment. When making a moral inventory we sift through our past and present behaviors in order to recognize selfish thinking, misguided or inaccurate beliefs and the ineffective emotional developments that promoted our addictive behavior. It is essential that we see these things for what they really are, so they can be changed or eliminated from our lives. A man’s hidden nature creates his external actions, and moral failings will continue if they are not faced and dealt with honestly.
You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy – full of greed and indulgence! You Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too.
Matthew 23:26 NLT
Making my personal inventory helped me to see specific things in me that promoted my addictive thinking and acting. I was able to see how self-centered I was, how lonely I was, how angry I was and how frustrated I had been most of my life. My personal inventory was a practical, measurable commitment to clear the ground in preparation for the construction of a new person made by the design and resources of God, The Master Builder of Life. Gaining increased objectivity about myself in this way set me on course to bring my heart and mind together in agreement with God. No longer alienated spiritually from God and from myself, I sensed I was becoming a member in the family of the most blessed of all men.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book pg 83-84This is an excerpt from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men onlycopyright, david zailer 2012