A Wise Assessment — 10th Step

STEP 10: We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12

When we were in the midst of our addictions and compulsive behaviors, dysfunctional thinking and toxic relationships became the norm and it can be difficult to break that cycle of “stinking thinking”.  Stinking thinking is a phrase that originated from Alcoholics Anonymous phrase that describes the negative thought patterns that keep us trapped in destructive patterns of addiction or compulsive behaviors. Even in recovery, these thoughts can hinder us in a true inventory because we might easily filter our actions through blinders like denial, rationalization, and justification. The reason we take a personal inventory is to take an assessment of ourselves each day: how we acted, reacted, treated others, and perhaps how we treated ourselves.  Taking this inventory allows us to identify our negative thoughts and behaviors, reflect on how we could have handled things differently, and admit when we were wrong.  Practicing Step 10 every day will help us to break the cycle of stinking thinking.

As we continue to take our personal inventory, we also need to surround ourselves with dependable and wise counselors. These people might be our sponsor, a pastor, or even a person God brings into our life through a small group and our 12 steps or volunteer work. God speaks to us through the other people in our lives. We also need to stay focused on God’s word—The Bible. Here we find the guidelines of how Christ wants us to live.

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6New Living Translation (NLT)

One of the wisest counselors in The Bible was Solomon. Solomon is the primary author of the book of Proverbs and uniquely qualified to serve as the principal author of these wise sayings.  In 1 Kings 3:5–9 Solomon asks God for wisdom in his reign over Israel, a request God eventually granted in 1 Kings 4:29–31. Solomon had the distinct privilege and opportunity to be king over the 12 united tribes of Israel. His wisdom and understanding quickly became known worldwide and his wealth exceeded all kings of the world.

Solomon is still considered one of the wisest men to have ever lived and, through God’s hand; we are uniquely blessed to have the book of Proverbs to help guide us in our daily lives. As you continue to assess your standing with God and others through your 10th Step, consider Solomon’s writings found in Proverbs—words of wisdom that may keep you growing in your faith and your walk in recovery.

Solomon’s Key Verse for Step 10

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.  Proverbs 3:13-17 (NIV)

 Examine your heart

  1. What are some “stinking thinking” patterns you sometimes get stuck in?
  2. Who are some wise people you can rely on to help guide you in your 10th Step?
  3. Take some time this week and read through some of Proverbs—share some words of wisdom with another.

Learn More

Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs, the book of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. The book of Proverbs is located on page 785 of the second edition of The Life Recovery Bible and contains the following recovery themes: The Importance of Common Sense, The Power of Priorities, The Role of Boundaries, and Building Healthy Relationships.

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