We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
There have probably been times when we've avoided our own wrongs and problems by pointing the finger at someone else. We may be out of touch with our internal affairs because we are still blaming others for our moral choices. Or perhaps we avoid examining ourselves by making moral inventory of the people all around us.
When God asked Adam and Eve about their sin, they both pointed the finger at someone else. "_'Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?' The man replied, 'It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.' Then the LORD God asked the woman, 'What have you done?' 'The serpent deceived me,' she replied" (Genesis 3:11-13). It seems to be human nature to blame others as our first line of defense.
We also may avoid our own problems by evaluating and criticizing the lives of others. Jesus tells us, "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? . . . Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye" (Matthew 7:3, 5).
While doing this step, we must constantly remind ourselves that this is a season of self-examination. We must guard against drifting off into blaming and examining the lives of others. There will be time in the future for helping others after we've taken responsibility for our own lives.
Our inventory should turn our focus from what others have done to what we can do.