The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Ten: Daily Inventory
One of the things we have emphasized from the beginning of this series is that the twelve steps are about a journey and not a destination. It’s about our direction, not our perfection (because we will never be perfect). “The day we believe that we have recovered it the day denial recaptures our minds and hearts… Step Ten is a guide that aids us in our daily spiritual journey – a journey we have only just begun.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).
Therefore, step ten is the first of the final three maintenance steps that will help keep us from falling back into our old lives of addictions, compulsions and sins. The first nine steps contain what J. Keith Miller calls, “the behavioral and spiritual reformation process of the program.” However, this was only the beginning of our journey. Now we will learn how we can maintain this new life in Christ, starting with step ten:
“Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”
There is a story in the Bible where Jesus was agonizing in prayer in the garden one evening, but his disciples had fallen asleep. He rebuked them, saying, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:38). A great prayer that we can pray to help us with this is found in Psalm 19:12: “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.”
In my personal life, I know that if I neglect my relationship with Jesus Christ; if I forsake my daily time in prayer and meditating on God’s Word; and forget to do a daily inventory, I find myself more easily tempted by the sins and bad habits that I hate. I find my joy, peace and hope slipping away. But if I am quick to repent and return to the Lord, I can experience His serenity once again.
No matter how long we have been on this journey, or how far we progress, we must always watch and pray, and be ever vigilant to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Tenth Step Prayer:
“I pray I may continue:
- To grow in understanding and effectiveness;
- To take daily spot check inventories of myself;
- To correct mistakes when I make them;
- To take responsibility for my actions;
- To be ever aware of my negative and self-defeating attitudes and behaviours;
- To keep my willfulness in check;
- To always remember I need your help;
- To keep love and tolerance of others as my code;
- and to consider in daily prayer how I can best serve you, my Heavenly Father.”
- Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).
Written by Chris Jordan, the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.