God's Standard
James 1:21-25 

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

When making an inventory, some kind of list is usually used to help take stock of what's on hand. If we've lived our lives with dysfunctional influences, our idea of what's "normal" probably won't be a very good measuring stick for evaluating our lives. We'll need another standard to help us take account of where we are.

The Jewish exiles who returned to Jerusalem had grown up in captivity. They started their inventory by finding a new standard. "They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the LORD their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins" (Nehemiah 9:3).

The apostle Paul ridiculed the idea that we could measure our lives by the people around us. He said this of the Corinthian believers: "They are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant! . . . We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us" (2 Corinthians 10:12-13).

James wrote, "Humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. . . . But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it" (James 1:21, 25).

In doing our moral inventory, we will get better results if we use God's Word as a measuring stick. This should give us the perspective we need as we seek to sort out our lives.

Our recovery involves coming to terms with ourselves as we really are.