Step Four: He who Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted

Completing a Step Four Inventory is one of the hardest steps for many addicts. It is a lifelong step that requires willingness to humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our character defects. So why is it so important to know my character defects? In my experience it is always my character defects that kept me enslaved to my addiction. One character defect in particular that I was reminded of this week is my desire to be in control and be right all the time. This attitude of “I know better than you” kept me shut off from learning from God and how God was speaking through others that pornography use was unhealthy. I thought I knew better than God. I just heard recently a sermon about Judas, that his betrayal of Jesus was directly related to his “bad” attitude of “I know better than you Jesus”. It was also this bad attitude that shut him off from the forgiveness that Jesus offered him on the Cross. So some may question how pornography use is a betrayal of Jesus? I learned from my first sponsor in the program that definition of terms is always helpful in understanding its importance. Betrayal means to violate a contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship. Based on this definition, I can cite several conflicts that my pornography use created within my relationships with family, friends, and co-workers that broke trust and contractual obligations. It was only through completing the Fourth Step Inventory with my sponsor I was able to view myself rightly as a sinner, and as someone who had wronged others. A step 4 inventory helps me realize, that the God I am learning more about through Step 2 work, scripture readings, Mass attendance, and confession, is someone I can trust to know the bests steps to take in any given situation. It helps me replace the bad attitude of “I know better” to “God knows best”. The completion of Step 4 is a great step to learn the virtue of humility. It is in learning to become humble that we are exalted by God. If we truly want to be exalted, and like God, this means we have to be willing to suffer and die to our sins by carrying our Cross of addiction. The Step 4 inventory done with a sponsor, then taken to confession with a priest, helped me come to understand that I don’t have to carry the Cross alone.

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