HOW TO TAKE A DAILY MORAL INVENTORY
To make this time most meaningful we suggest that you select a quiet secluded place where you can be completely alone. It is almost impossible to concentrate if you are in a room with someone else. Jesus often withdrew from the crowds to refresh
Himself spiritually, and we too, if we want to grow in His likeness, must make the same strategic withdrawal. We need to select a spot that will become out "Prayer Closet" where we can shut out the world for a time of communion with Him.
To avoid daydreaming we suggest that you follow this simple structure to make your prayer time most meaningful.
I. TAKE YOUR DAILY MORAL INVENTORY
The D.M.I. is designed to help you identify twenty negative and twenty positive attitudes that you may have expressed through your thoughts and behavior yesterday. It is a mirror to help you get in touch with your own soul; and it will, if you do it honestly, give you valuable insights into the attitudes that motivate your actions. The Bible says " As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."(Proverbs 23:7)
There are two basic aspects to the rehabilitation process:
1. Physical detoxification from addictive chemicals.
2. Renewing the mind from mental and emotional contamination
The first part is easy. Although withdrawal is physically uncomfortable, the body will, when we quit ingesting alcohol and drugs, slowly return to normal functioning. The second part is a process that will require your energies and attention for the rest of your life. The "stinking thinking" and "damaged emotions" that accompany alcoholism and drug addiction do not clear our minds when we merely get sober.
Denial (a mental defense mechanism that protects the addict from facing reality by blocking knowledge from his/her awareness) is one of the most dangerous symptoms of the disease of alcoholism. It impairs judgment of "insight" and results in self delusions which keeps the addict locked into an increasing pattern of destruction.
Projection (blaming other people for my problems and attitudes) causes the addict to always see his problems "out there" in the actions and failures of others rather than "inward" negative attitudes of his own that produce bad behavior.
Some of us mistakenly try the" geographic cure" of moving away from people, problems, and places that "cause us to drink excessively" rather than search our hearts to find the real roots of our problem.
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life", so donít mess it up by allowing yesterdayís problems to invade your serenity today. Look at your actions and attitudes from the perspective of distance (24 hours). Do not try to go back any further than that. You canít change the past, but you can keep it from contaminating your present and future. Be careful to look more at your own reactions and attitudes rather than at other peopleís failures and problems. Remember the BOMBSHELL:
1. I cannot change other people by direct action
2. I can change myself
3. Others have a tendency to change in reaction to my change
Start your D.M.I. by marking column 1 top to bottom filling the square to indicate negative attitude and a check mark to indicate a positive attitude. The top columns do not represent calendar days just the sequence of your inventory. Refer to the D.M.I. Commentary if you do not understand any of the attitudes in the list.
II. PRAY ABOUT YOUR D.M.I. INSIGHTS
So much of our prayer life is ineffective because we "pray amiss" (James 4:3). We miss the target. Pray specifically that the Holy Spirit will deal directly with the negative attitudes that the D.M.I. has revealed. Remember, "prayer changes us we change things." The following prayer steps will help lead you into His presence:
Relax and Detach
We can only begin the inward journey of prayer by detaching our attention from external distractions. This is not easy because we are so conditioned to outside stimuli that we have to discipline ourselves to "turn off" outside noises and "tune in" the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is helpful to sit in a comfortable position and consciously relax all parts of your body.
Focus your attention on your inward journey
Imagine yourself walking slowly down a set of stairs leading to a basement sanctuary where Jesus awaits you. He is always present in the heart of the born again believer, but we are not always "present" to Him. Our attention is more often on the "temporal things that are seen than on the eternal things that are unseen." (II Corinthians 4:18) Ask the Holy Spirit to escort you into His "presence". Imagine yourself setting in a chair talking face to face with Jesus. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen". (Hebrews 11:1) "He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
Pray Converse with Jesus
He is not only our Savior but also our counselor and guide. He is delighted to give direction to his children and forgiveness to those who confess their sins. "If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him (James 1:4). "If my people who call my name shall humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I shall hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14).
III. KEEPING A JOURNAL
Reserve a section of your notebook to keep a daily journal to record the insights gleaned from your prayer time. Date each entry. This is not a diary to preserve the insights that God reveals to you about your character development. Be specific as you can be in recording the impressions that the Holy Spirit makes upon your heart.
This journal is not for public information. You are writing only for yourself to record your spiritual pilgrimage. If you take the time to work this exercise, it will be a tremendous tool to help you articulate the working of the Lord in your inner life, and your journal will become one of your most treasured possessions.
Scan your D.M.I. carefully and meditate a few moments on the Xís that represent yesterdayís negative attitudes. See how they are interrelated presenting you a vivid multifaceted reaction to yesterdayís events. Look beyond the offense of the problems caused by other people to see what attitudes were expressed in your response to other peopleís behavior. What attitude "roots" were manifested in yesterdayís relationships?
Record your "insights" of how you see your life growing and developing through what happened to you yesterday.
SERENITY Overlooking our own needs and shifting the center of interest from ourselves to concern for the needs of those around us.
SELF PITY Sulking, being moody and silent, using physical means to transmit feelings, strong sense of not being liked, feeling sorry for yourself .P.L.O.M. Poor little old me, everybody hates me, nobody likes me, go to the garden and eat some worms. Read about Elijah under the juniper tree in I Kings 19:4 and about Peterís fishing trip in John 21:30.
Memory verse: Philippians 2:4 7
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men."
HUMILITY Accepting our limitations and personal defects without trying
to justify them: having no false pride.
SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS Excusing ourselves of any wrong behavior or
attitudes, while condemning others for the very same things. We justify
ourselves and whitewash our true character to give people a better
impression. We become "puffed up"; being "right" becomes a fetish. We
will use any means to prevail over ideas which differ from our own. (Read
Jesusí discourse on this subject in Matthew 23:1 23)
Memory verse: Romans 10:3
For being ignorant of Godís righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
SELF VALUATION Realizing who we are as Godís redeemed children.
In our earthen vessels we hold a great treasure (II Corinthians 4:7), and we
Act like the "unique, unrepeatable miracles of God" that we really are.
SELF CONDEMNATION Showing a low self image by succumbing to
false guilt and declaring ourselves unfit or unworthy of Godís grace. This is
false humility. We use it to excuse ourselves from participation in spiritual
growth. People who suffer from self condemnation are not in love with
themselves; rather, they are "in hate" with themselves.
Memory verse: I Timothy 1:12 15
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful putting me in the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and persecutor and injurious: but, obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners: of whom I am chief.
BEING A GIVER Having the desire to "put in" more than we "take out."
Being grateful for what we have received, and to the people through whom
God gave to us. "The world belongs to those who can pay for it with the
precious coin of appreciation."
BEING A TAKER Taking more than we give in all of our relationships.
Demanding instant gratification for all our needs or wants and whining
when others do not meet our expectations. Then, even when we are blessed with something, we donít truly appreciate it, or the person that gave it to us
Memory verse: Ephesians 5:18 20
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein excess; but be filled with the Spirit speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."
HONESTY Being truthful, open and frank. Genuine. Admission of
addiction is the first step towards healing. Accepting responsibility for our
actions, is the second step.
LYING Not being truthful of trustworthy. Cheating. Telling un truths or
holding back parts of the whole story. Lying breeds fear; kills peace of
mind and separates us from God, ourselves and others. Denial of addiction
and projection of blame, are the two most common forms of lying among
Memory verse: Ephesians 4:25
"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members of one another."
PATIENCE Demonstrating a quiet, uncomplaining endurance, under
distress or annoyance. Being tolerant, tender, and forbearing.
IMPATIENCE Annoyance: because you donít get what you want, when
you want it. An unwillingness to wait for something.
Memory verse: Galatians 6:9
"And let us not be weary in doing well doings for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
GRATITUDE Being grateful to God and other people for what we have,
and where we are. Making do, and being content
COMPLAINING Continuously talking about the negative aspects of
something we have no control over. Failure to practice the principles
contained in the "serenity prayer."
Memory verse: Philippians 4: 11 13
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewithin to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer in need. I can do all things through Christ Jesus which strengtheneth me."
FORGIVENESS To pardon or give up resentment when someone has
wronged us. To give up the right to get even. Jesus taught us that we
would be forgiven in direct proportion to our willingness to forgive.
RESENTMENT Having a feeling of bitterness that forms a mental
chain that binds us to the person or thing that we hate. Resentment is
like a two edged sword that wounds us more than it does others.
Nothing will wreck our freedom from addiction as quickly as unforgiveness.
Memory verse: Matthew 6:14 15
"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But,
if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses."
ADMITTANCE The realization that the addict can never go back to the
addiction again. Admittance pushes out any possible thought that the life
of addiction was not so bad and motivates the addict to build a program
into his life to prevent ever going back to his addiction.
DENIAL Blinds the addict to his own problems. It enables him to go
through disaster after disaster and never learn that this is not a normal
facet of life. Denial also allows the addict to harbor the mistaken idea
that his previous life was not so bad and that maybe he will be able to
indulge in his addiction occasionally.
Memory verse: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." I John 1:8 10
TRUST Able to believe and relax in the promises that have been made to us
by God and others. Not trying to be a "lone ranger" in the Body of Christ.
WORRY The inability to trust God or men to do what they have promised.
Choosing not to share the load with other members of the Body of Christ.
Memory verse: Matthew 6:31 33
"Therefore take no thought saying "What shall we drink?" or "What withal shall we be clothed." For all of these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things shall be added unto you."
WORKING THE PROGRAM Realizing the life and death nature of
rehabilitation and putting forth a determined effort to change. Trying to
implement scriptural principles in all areas of our lives.
COMPLYING Doing enough to get by but not exerting any real effort to
to change. Doing only what is expected or required but not having any
Memory verse: Colossians 3:22 23
"Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto menÖ"
ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY Being accountable for both attitudes and my actions and not being a "victim" to the environment or other peopleís behavior. Realizing that I will never change
"me" by blaming other people for my faults.
PROJECTION A defense mechanism that excuses our own wrong
behavior by accusing others for being the source of the problem. " If
you didnít nag, I wouldnítÖ" Our GreatÖGrandfather Adam taught this
to the human race when he blamed his wife for his problem.
Memory verse: Luke 15:17 19
"And when he came to himself, he said, ëHow many hired servants of my fatherís have bread enough to spareí, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go before my father and will call unto himÖFather, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am no more worthy to be called thy son, make me one of thy hired servants."
DOING THINGS ON TIME is actively working to accomplish tasks
whether it be something small like writing a letter, or something
larger such as getting a job. It is being punctual and prepared.
PROCRASTINATION is the thief of time. It is natural for everyone
to have the following symptoms once in a while but when they become
chronic they cause real trouble. Lateness, putting things off, loafing, do
nothingness, shirking responsibility, dullness(mental, physical, and spiritual)
lack of growth or change, sloppiness, passing the buck, apathy.
Memory verse: Proverbs 6:6 11
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the
harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arouse out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."
BEING YOUR REAL SELF Not worrying about what any other people
think about you. Being honest and open in expressing inner feelings.
BEING PHONY Trying to impress others. Making people think that
you are something you are not, that you know something you do not know.
Memory verse: Matthew 23:27 28
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites (play actors): For ye are like unto whited sepulchers which indeed appear beautiful outward but within full of dead menís bones and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
POSITIVE THINKING Knowing and trusting God and our relationship
to Him through Jesus. Believing that all things work together for good
to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.(Romans
NEGATIVE THINKING is consistently believing that bad things will
happen or that people will reject you because of real or imagined character
Memory verse: James 1:5 8
" If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not
that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
HIGH MINDED, SPIRITUAL, CLEAN THINKING Keeping our minds free from lust
and immoral desires. Trying to keep our hearts fixed on Jesus.
VULGAR,IMMORAL,TRASHY THINKING Dwelling on memories of past immoralities
or fantasies. Allowing lust to control our minds and to hinder our relationship with God.
Refusal to allow God to become Lord of our sexuality. Reprobate mind (Romans 1:28 31)
Memory verse: Isaiah 25:3
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee."
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
ACCEPTING FORGIVENESS Believing that God will keep His promised regarding
repentance of sin.
FALSE GUILT ABOUT THE PAST Believing the devilís lies that our sins are just
too much for God to be able to forgive. Satan has 2 favorite lies to deceive us with: First
he tells us that we are so much better than all the hypocrites who go to church on Sunday,
and we fall into self righteousness. Secondly, when our sins get so bad that we canít
ignore them anymore, he then tells us we have gone too far, and have committed the
Memory verse: Philippians 3:13 14
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press towards the mark for the prize of high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
TEMPERANCE Balance in the consumption of food, sweets or drinks. Of course
temperance is impossible for the addict when it comes to alcohol or drugs.
GLUTTONY Compulsive overeating and over indulging. Consistently eating more
than we need to satisfy normal hunger needs.
Memory verse: Proverbs 23:21
"For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."
CONCENTRATION Keeping your mind and body together in the present, and working
on the life controlling problems that brought you down in the first place. Working the
program every day.
HEAD AND BUTT DISEASE Daydreaming, living in a fantasy world of the future
or reliving the unchangeable events of the past.
Memory verse: I John 1:3
"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."
A FAULT RECOGNIZED IS HALF CORRECTED!!!!