Once we’ve done the inventory, then what? On the surface it seems pretty simple: repent where we need to. Once we recognize our sins, we can feel remorse, seek forgiveness, restore what has been lost and never repeat the sin.
But the inventory is about more than sin. It’s also about what we’re doing right in our lives. And it’s about identifying weaknesses that may be different from sin.
Twelve-steppers will move next to confession: telling God and another person about the inventory they’ve done. For me, telling someone else (in the church’s Addiction Recovery Program, a bishop is also included if needed) has a curative effect. It takes the weaknesses that are buried inside of us and puts them on the table, so to speak. We share the burden. Someone can comfort us, mourn with us, help to bear our burden.
The Savior counsels us to share our burdens with him:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.That passage of scripture actually shows what’s next for twelve-steppers (and the rest of us if we’re wise): after we share the burdens, then we take up the Lord’s yoke. We put ourselves in a position to have him remove our weaknesses.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
More on that in my next post.
But as for that sharing of our inventory: it’s not as scary as it seems. I have done a personal inventory and shared it with my wife. She was not surprised by anything on my list. She had been living with me for over 25 years and knew me pretty well. In fact, my list had some positives and some negatives. And, bless her heart, she added another positive item to my list that I had left off.
But the power of sharing the list gave me courage to seek to turn weaknesses into strengths.