Step 4 – Defensive Self-righteousness

As you take inventory you will be tempted to become defensive. Our life patterns are part of us. When we start to look at them honestly for the first time in our lives, our immediate reaction is to dig in our heels and try to justify our past behavior.

In the fourth step you have to be relentlessly honest. You have to look at yourself objectively and refuse to defend anything that is wrong in your life (past or present). The first step out of your dark pit and into the light and victory starts with complete honesty.

That dysfunctional part of yourself will do its best to plead, excuse and justify itself. It will do everything it can to dodge responsibility for being the source of all the difficulties in your life. It will be tempting to confess the little things and leave untouched the central issues and major sins of your life. You are dysfunctional self wants to be the most important thing in your life. It wants to sit on the throne of your life. Simply put it wants to be your God.

Until you put God on the throne of your life; until you complete Step 3: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as revealed in the Bible” you will not be able to make any permanent changes in your life.

Your old, ugly self that was running your life must be replaced by God. He has to sit firmly on the throne of your life. All of your decisions, every thought, every word you speak in every action you take most be based on the fact that God rules your life and you are willing, above all else, to obey Him.

E. Stanley Jones wrote:

You remember the blind man sitting by the wayside begging, who, when they told him that Jesus was calling him, “flung away his garments” and ran to Jesus. You must fling away everything that would hinder you from getting to Christ — your inner dishonesties, and you’re outer ones too, your resentments, you’re wrong sex relationships, your self-centered attitudes — yes, you’re very self — and run to Him.

Oh Christ,
Where else can I run? If I run away from you, I will be running away from life. I will be running away from freedom. I will be running away from the door you hold open for me. Help me to flung away everything — yes, my very self — and come to you. For I cannot live any longer with myself until I find you in place you on the throne of my life. So today I come. Amen.