Celebrate Recovery

Keeping a Balanced Inventory

Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

An important part of the recovery process is taking a good, hard look at ourselves. In Celebrate Recovery, we do this by completing an “inventory” of our lives. An inventory is simply an assessment of five key elements, all related to a person, place, or thing that we resent or fear. As we progress through the process, we shift our focus from what was done to us (or what we did) and begin to recognize and admit to the reactions and responses for which we are responsible. (For more about the inventory process, check out my article¬†here)

Something that Celebrate Recovery stresses is keeping a balanced inventory. They suggest achieving this by writing good things that we have done in our lives to help “balance” the bad, which in some cases could be overwhelming.

Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way. -Psalm 139:23-24

There is some value in looking at the good we have done in order to gain a full picture of our life and to investigate our motives for our actions. However, while talking with other Celebrate Recovery participants, we all expressed an awkwardness in listing the good things we have done in our lives. As believers, we are in agreement that Jesus is the only good that lives within us, and that the good that we might do in our lives is because of Him and Him alone.

As a result, in addition to listing the good that we have done as part of our inventory, we have decided to list the blessings that God has bestowed upon us and focus our attention on that list to help keep our inventory balanced. There is something uplifting about counting our blessings, and seeing God work in our lives gives us a hope that simply focusing on the work of our own hands never could.

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. -Galatians 6:3

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to You and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And You forgave me! All my guilt is gone. -Psalm 32:1-5

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