Monday, 23 September 2013

Taking Inventory

“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” Jerimiah 17:


Andy Stanley
In a video series entitled “Recovery” Andy Stanley prods us to be honest, not necessarily with someone else, though that would be great, but with ourselves.  He challenges each of us to take a “fearless moral inventory” of ourselves.  He contends that many of us are quick to blame our circumstances or our behavior or our thoughts on something or someone else.

“I’m this way because…”  “When you do …. It makes me…” “Every time … happens it makes me…”  You can fill in the blanks.  Whether it was our parents or a teacher or a sibling some of us continue to blame our failings or shortcomings on someone from our past.  Or maybe we blame our spouse for our irritability or frustration.  “If only he would…”  “If she would just stop…”  Again you can fill in the blanks.

So what is a fearless moral inventory?  Andy is saying sit down with a piece of paper and begin to identify those areas in you where you have been less than forthright.  For example perhaps you have felt badly that you never completed your college education.  When asked you say “I couldn’t afford the tuition and I refused to incur debt to continue.”  That sounds very plausible.  However let’s assume that if we were totally honest the response would be “I really have never liked school, I didn’t want to study and I was put on academic probation and never went back.”

Perhaps you have been unemployed for a number of months in part due to the economy.   It is easy to say “At my age it is getting increasingly difficult to find a job.”  Your age and the economy are certainly legitimate reasons for being unemployed, reasons that most of our friends and family will buy.  However what if you are honest with yourself and the real answer is “I’m too proud to take a job that I feel is beneath me.”

I have said in these blogs any number of times that the single biggest problem in marriage is self-centeredness.  Perhaps you have what would be considered a legitimate gripe with your spouse, one that justifies your frustration or anger.  “I’ve told him/her a hundred times not to …” However if the truth were told you are just being stubborn to prove a point. 

The inventory is called “fearless” because it takes nerve to be honest with ourselves.

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