We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Who among us takes a fall without a preceding thought, a flirtation with desire, or a season of being enticed? Who among us falls into a pit without walking near the edge? Relapse doesn't appear from nowhere to grab us by the throat. There are warning signs of complacency, confusion, and compromise that we can watch for as a precaution.
In order to safeguard against relapse, we must ask God to help us keep a close watch on our motives, desires, and thoughts. He has the power to do this. "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires" (Hebrews 4:12). As God shines his light into the darkness of our souls, we are enabled to see the problems lurking there. Then we can ask for God's help in dealing with them.
Temptation is progressive. James wrote, "Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15, nkjv).
As we continue to take personal inventory, we can't afford to wait for harmful behaviors to surface before dealing with them. We need to look at the attitudes in our hearts that cause those behaviors. In this way, we can be alerted to problem areas and deal with our temptations before they become full-grown and overpowering.
God's Word will help us to continue in recovery and avoid the devastation of a relapse.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.