[e-Devotionals] 2002-12-15 - Twelve Steps for Christian Living

Part 10

Step 10- Continue to take personal inventory, and when we are wrong, promptly admit it.

Mark 14:38 (NLT) Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak.

Luke 9:23 (NLT) Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.

Steps 1-9 are major repairs. Steps 10-12 are maintenance steps. The first nine steps are akin to serious surgery on our lives. Step 10 is daily maintenance of our lives.

On the surface, Step Ten appears to be an easy step that can be skimmed over. But it’s not! Taking a daily inventory of our lives is crucial to our recovery from our sinful nature. Step Ten is difficult to implement, due to the fast-paced, hectic lifestyles most of us live. It is easy, in the "heat of the battle," to toss aside the foundation and the truths that Christ has laid down for us to live by.

Living our new lives in Christ is a moment-by-moment goal. In every situation we encounter, ideally we would stop and think, "How can I best react to this situation as Christ would?" For example, say that your co-worker, classmate or friend has told another person an untrue story about you. When you find out, your mind and heart should shift toward the first three steps. Think: First, I am powerless over what this person has done. Secondly, if I react in MY way, then I will display my insanity. And thirdly, I should turn the situation over to God and let Him guide my reaction.

Step Ten helps us maintain balance in our lives. It keeps us dependent on God and not ourselves. We recognize that God alone is in control, and we are simply trying our best to follow His will in every situation that we encounter. Before the major surgery of Steps 1-9, we may have turned to drugs, rage or other completely unacceptable behavior that harmed ourselves and those around us. Step 10 is a Stop Sign advising us to "Stop and think!"

We definitely learn from our mistakes. Sometimes at the end of the day, we may need to hit the rewind button and carefully analyze a situation that occurred during the day - and how we handled that situation. When someone angered us, how did we respond? Were we wrong? Were we right? Did we follow God’s will? Did we stop and realize that God is in control? Did we turn the situation over to God, or did we try to be in control of the event?

As always, this does not mean beating ourselves up daily. Think of the positive reactions you had as well. Ask yourself: What did I do right today? How have I grown today? Am I a little more like Christ at the end of today, than I was at the beginning?

Father, help us in our hectic pace to stop, think and pray for your will to be done. Help us to remember the Steps you have led us through so far, and help us to apply our "new lives" to new situations. In Christ’s name, Amen

David Massey

[email david] david@e-devotionals.org