Step Four

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

(Step Four from Alcoholics Anonymous “The Twelve Steps”)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness                                                                                                                                                                  I John 1:9

As my readers are aware, I am a fan of the wisdom of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as a treatment tool. Anyone, regardless of addiction (or non-addiction) status, can benefit from the comprehensive approach of the 12 steps.

It is not uncommon for me to ask my clients to perform the 4th step inventory. There are many very useful guidelines that AA sponsors and sponsees use to complete this step. It involves being very honest about resentments, fears, and harmful behaviors resulting from those issues that need examination, and ultimately, making amends to those we have wronged.

Especially in marriage counseling work, the mutual humility needed to do a good 4th step leads to each partner recognizing his/her part in whatever problems have driven a wedge in the relationship.

I liked the slogan on the tee shirts we used to wear at our Next Step Service, a church service where there was an emphasis on helping people with addictions celebrate sobriety and encourage ways to stay clean- “The 12 Steps, It’s Not Just for Alcoholics Anymore”

The 12 Steps work if you work them…

Prayer: Thank you for the plans you have for honest examination, and freedom from the guilt sin brings, Amen

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