Fools mock compensation offering, but favor is with those who do right. There is a path that may seem straight to someone, but in the end it is a path to death. Patience leads to abundant understanding, but impatience leads to stupid mistakes. A peaceful mind gives life to the body, but jealousy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:9, 12, 29-30
One of the benefits of a good inventory is discovering patterns of behavior. Recently I was granted the sacred privilege of listening to someone’s fifth step, which, in case you don’t know says this: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
My friend had used Mike O’Neill’s “Power to Choose: Twelve Steps to Wholeness” workbook, which contains the most detailed, awesome fourth step guide I’ve ever found. Because of his format, participants uncover all sorts of patterns that they have to various circumstances.
My friend came in and started with a bang, “This is going to be the shortest fifth step in the history of fifth steps.”
I laughed and replied, “You are kind of sassy for a gal about to bare all.”
Mike has a list of sixty five suggested defects of character a person can lay claim to. My friend acknowledged one: judgmentalism. She made a compelling case, but alas, it turns out she had more. Yes indeed she was judgmental. But she was also hateful, oversensitive, unkind and jealous.
Here’s the problem and I think it is fairly common, perhaps universal. Our own thinking doesn’t get us where we need to go sometimes. Patience was required to uncover a fuller understanding of her story. We could have hung onto judgmentalism as her only shortcoming, but it would have been a path that could only take her so far in her healing.
Thing fourteen: When we work these steps thoroughly, it is almost impossible to avoid a more peaceful mind, heart and spirit as a by-product.