I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3
AA Step 10 – We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Over Christmas break, my family was playing a game one evening when something happened that irritated me. Maybe I hadn’t eaten enough or maybe I’d just had a bad day, but I snapped, responding far more harshly than I’d meant to. It’s uncharacteristic of me, so everyone stopped what they were doing. It got quiet. At that moment, I should have taken a deep breath and backed off. My wife kindly pointed out that I was overreacting a little. Did I listen? No. I snapped at her too. Soon, it was me against the world and for some reason, the world was trying to tick me off. I obliged, becoming angrier and angrier. The game was over and everyone scattered.
Looking back, I can see so clearly how I was wrong. In the moment though, I was absolutely convinced that they were the ones who had given offense. Later of course, I had to make my rounds, apologizing to everyone for my tantrum. As I lay my head down that night, I had to review the episode, analyze what went wrong, plan ahead, and decide what I’ll do differently next time.
This is what AA calls a personal or daily inventory. In today’s passage, Paul called it sober judgment, insisting that we must continually engage in honest self-examination. Pride is the enemy of faith and growth. In humility, we must daily look inward, asking what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong. When we’re wrong, we must promptly admit it and make correction. This isn’t easy, but this is the life of faith, growth, and recovery.
We all know that person who has no self-awareness. He thinks he’s always right and everyone else is always wrong. We’re all irritated with that individual, but we all have a little of that in us. It’s our nature to think that our way of doing things is always right.
If we don’t want to be that person and if we desire to follow Christ, we must be willing to continually be transformed. We’ve not arrived yet. To experience change, we must continually self-assess. What am I doing right? How am I failing? If necessary, we must make amends. Then, we must plan a change in our behavior. That is a daily inventory.