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2016.09.22 (10:47:53)

Matthew 23:23-28

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, 

and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.  

These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

 

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, 

but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.

Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, 

that the outside of them may be clean also.

 

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, 

but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, 

but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

 

Step 4:

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

 

Modern understandings of addiction suggest that all addictions and compulsions are fundamentally 

shame-based.  

 

Whether our profound shame feelings come from early family situations that we witnessed and 

experienced, or whether they arise from the practice of our own current dependencies, 

robust recovery can occur only when this shame is cleansed away.  

 

Scripture cautions that this cleansing must work from the inside out, and Twelve Step recovery suggests the tool of a "searching and fearless moral inventory" as a means of accomplishing this cleansing.

 

Effective inventory work requires that we find the sources of both false and authentic shame.  

We may carry false guilt about the childhood experience of sexual violation or the impact of 

parental chemical abuse.  Or we may carry authentic feelings of guilt about the damage we have 

inflicted on others through the practice of our dependent behaviors.

 

Step 4 is a special opportunity to bring those dark recesses of our lives before the cleansing light of 

God's Spirit.

 

<source: at pp.39, Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery, 1990>

 

 
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