Lesson 20: Daily Inventory
All Scars Tell a Story
(Note: Another Name for this lesson could be: “JOURNALING”)
Ok: tonight’s lesson based on Principle # 7 & Step # 10
Principle 7: “Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for your life and to gain the power to follow His will.”
Step # 10: “Continue to take personal inventory (JOURNAL) and when you are wrong, promptly admit it.”
Scripture these are based on is found in I Corinthians 10:12
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”
Tonight we are going to look at the “nuts & bolts” or “how to’s” of Step #10
First – remember how important it is to Journal.
ASK: Do you recall me encouraging you to “Journal”?
ASK: Why is it SOOOOOOOO important to Journal?
Here is why:
When you write down areas where you need to make amends, it will help you see patterns of areas to work on – so you can identify them and develop a strategy to conquer them.
Keep your list short !!! As soon as you write down an issue where you’ve “blown it” you should Plan to PROMPTLY offer your amends. Then just cross it off the list.
OK – Now , let’s get some of the “How To’s “ out in open: (Handout: INSERT)
(I can see) Some of you having trouble getting started writing in your journal. Let me give you 3 HINTS to help you get started:
Start by writing just 1 thing that happened that day for which you are thankful.
Ask someone (Sponsor/Acct. Part.) to hold you accountable for writing in your journal each night.
Memorize Galatians 5:22-23 “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Memorizing Gal 5:22 will keep the following questions in your conscience. ANY of these question will help to prompt you to write the answers in your journal:
REMEMBER: Ultimate goal is CHANGE !!
Today; How did I show love to others?
Today; Did I act in an unloving way toward anyone?
Today; Did others see in me the joy of having a personal relationship with the Lord? If not, why not?
Today; Did I seek to maintain my peace? Did anything happen that caused me to lose it? What was my part in it?
Today; Was I patient? What caused me to lose my patience? Do I owe anyone amends?
Today, Did I use my words to encourage & support? OR did I use foul, course language?
Today; would anyone say that I was kind/good? In what ways did I act unkind?
Today; How was my faithfulness?
Today; did I keep my word with everyone?
Today; How was my gentleness and self-control? Did I lose my tempter, speak a harsh or unkind word to anyone?
This process of keeping the DAILY INVENTORY/ JOURNAL is where we start APPLYING what we’ve been learning about here for weeks/months.
We start to take ACTION – positive action – instead of constant “Reactions”
We are starting to see ourselves practicing “SELF - CONTROL” the way GOD wants us to be : which is “Self - Under Control” Under God’s control is what we are going for – Right?
God provided us with His own “daily checklist” for our new life in Christ. It’s called the “Great Commandment” in scripture and it’s found in Matthew 22:37-40:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…soul and..mind.: This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself: All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”
When you write your daily personal inventory, ask yourself: “Today, did my actions show what the 2nd greatest commandment tells me to do? Did I love my neighbor(others) as myself?
If we try to live by these principles we will be “doers” and not just “Hearers” of God’s Word.
James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Do you know how important this is? Do you realize that you may be the only “Bible” that someone ever experiences ?
REMEMBER: can’t be perfect, but must strive for it in every way possible.
Now, then: Step 10 does NOT say “how often” we are to “take inventory”. But Principle #7 says : “DAILY” However, here are 3 ways to do a step 10 inventory:
Do an ON-GOING Inventory:
It’s good to keep it near you so that WHEN the time arises that we do a wrong we can PROMPTLY admit it.
Example: foul mood w/Dana. Asked simple question, I was a bit unkind / harsh in my response.
Tempted to wait till I could rationalize it away
OR promptly admit I was wrong
Don’t have to wait till later. Pop it out of your bag and jot it down. Even act of having to pull it out may prove to deter behavior.
NOTE: Lot more fun to write down when you’ve done it right!!!!!
Do the ongoing inventory to keep your “Amends list” short
Now, as I said earlier, Principle #7 says do a DAILY inventory
Do a DAILY Inventory:
Some find it more helpful to sit quietly at the end of their day and look over their activities and take stock of Good, Bad, Ugly, Beautiful
Remember to keep it balanced
After time you may get very good at this and quickly add it to a routine that you look forward to every day.
If you choose the daily route; you can pray over them, ask God to show you the wrongs and then as promptly as you can – even the next morning – admit them and make amends.
(you can see the disadvantage sometimes with this way if the person is out of reach for a while)
Do a PERIODIC “In Depth” Inventory:
A periodic in-depth inventory could be every month or 3 months – whatever.
People who know me know that I do this every so often (not as often as I should) but I make sure I do get away to a small monastery in NY.
2-3 days (can be shorter)
No phone, TV, distractions
Nature – commune w/God
Do my best “Listening” to God here
Some men in the class used to go to a cabin owned by a friend of Jay Greiner
Others do BRIDGES: which is REALLY intense, but still a retreat none-the-less.
Still others just go for long walks on quiet paths or shores.
WHEN (not if) you do this – take your journal and record your “AHA’s”
Record the things that God makes clear to you
Record your victories and celebrate them w/God on the retreat.
Here are some verses you may find helpful:
“Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.”
“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk (EVER) come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others.” WOW
“A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.”
“A word of encouragement does wonders!”
I Corinthians 13:1
“If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise.”
ACTION PLAN (written in your half sheet handout)
KEY verse for this entire lesson is Mark 14:38
“Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Truer words never spoken for the one in RECOVERY.
Next Time: (Lesson 21: How To Avoid RELAPSE.)