A question worth asking, when you have completed the THIRD Step, is when do I take the Fourth Step. It’s also worth asking this question if you are stumbling through the maintenance Steps.
When is it time to take another Fourth Step?
Well, what do your maintenance STEPS tell you? (See The Big Book, pages 84-88)
Going back to the Fourth Step, I can sort through stuff that is tripping me up on the Steps Ten, Eleven and Twelve. When habits, hurts, and hang-ups keep recurring on my daily inventory, channels to God silt in, blocking prayer. Therefore, I don’t have much of a message worth carrying.
Working the Fourth Step again shows what I need conserve, change, or chuck.
A thorough moral inventory helps me see where worry, anger, self-pity, anxiety, and depression become like banana peels in my program: “reasons” for a slip, whether picking up or acting out (a.k.a. a dry drunk)
So, deciding when to do a Fourth Step means asking myself why working the steps isn’t working for me.
“Self-deception is not the worst thing you can do, but it’s the means by which we can do the very worst things. The sin that is most distorting your life right now is the one you can’t see . . . Lord, there is no more important petition that this one – show me my hidden faults. Amen. (God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life, Tim Keller, page 84)
If, you have taken Step Three, and the God of your understanding is the Covenant-Keeping God of All, don’t hesitate or put off meeting with Him! You can’t surprise, disappoint, or frustrate Him.
God didn’t give you the strength to get back on your feet so you can run back to the same thing that knocked you down.
Shaming is never His response to any of the stuff we discover on our inventory!
Redemption and restoration is His promise and purpose. And peace, blessed peace is His gift to all who ask.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high. (Leviticus 26:13)
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful