by Bill Peters
Principle 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to God and to another person I trust. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)
If we freely admit that we have sinned, we find God utterly reliable and straightforward. He forgives our sin and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil. 1 John 1:9
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16
In the book of Isaiah, God confronted Israel about their sins. Isaiah was God’s chosen servant to announce to the people that it was time to clean house. The book of Isaiah reminds me much about cleaning the barn of manure when I was growing up and also what I have learned about taking a personal inventory and coming clean with God.
Our barn on the Indiana farm in the 1960s was the center of our farm as the central place for feed and grain stores, housing animals and storing our farm equipment. Because it was a central part of farm life on a daily basis it was important from time to time to make an assessment what was in the barn and what needed to be removed and what needed to be added. Dad would confront us boys, in particular, and instruct us that it was time to take an inventory of the barn and do a cleanup. We knew for certain, that this was going to take work and would not happen in one day. It was going to be a process of removing the cow and pig manure by loading up our New Idea manure spreader. I can honestly say there was a satisfaction as we loaded manure and spread it on the fields. Sometimes we would even find lost tools that had fallen into the stable and it was good to recognize there were blessings in disguise by hauling out the manure.
I have found that God has a way of confronting you and me at times when we need to take action in our lives about our sins. He says let’s examine and clean the slate in your life and let’s settle this so you can receive forgiveness and healing. He says to me I want to clean you up so take a personal inventory and confront your sins. He wants us to clean up our hearts and get things in order. He wants us to do a personal inventory for the benefit of confessing our hurts, habits, and hangups linked to our sin.
The goals of taking a personal spiritual inventory are (1) to form a closer relationship with our Higher Power, Jesus Christ, (2) to forgive ourselves and others for our past, and (3) to become spiritually healed. To be successful with each of these objectives, a course of action is required. Although this will require time, persistence and patience, we’ll ultimately be able to celebrate recovery and healing and experience a changed life full of hope and promise.
Most of us don’t like to look within ourselves for fear to face the bad news of what we will find inside. God challenges you and me to take a sincere look with Him by our side. When I first begun the cleanup process with an inventory I was scared to look but God gave me strength to do so by prayer and trusting in Him and His Word. I found not only hurts, habits and hangups which reflect sin in my life but I also found positive things that indicate that God has been working in my life all along. God always wants us to keep our examination and evaluation – our inventory – balanced. It is critical that you and I are honest and that both good and the bad qualities are listed in our inventory process. I am thankful that I have learned about the inventory process in my life on the farm, in God’s Word and the ministry of Celebrate Recovery. It makes Godly sense to settle things with God and man the best I can while I live and breathe. It is God’s idea and it is not a new idea.