We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
When we live in a world where we need to pretend in order to cope, it's hard to maintain integrity. We learn to lie to cover up our shameful circumstances. We may lie to ourselves by escaping into another world through our addictions. When we don't feel sure of ourselves, some of us even hide behind religious words and experiences. We might say things like "The Lord told me this . . ." or "I swear to God . . ." in order to validate our actions.
The third commandment says, "You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name" (Exodus 20:7; see also Deuteronomy 5:11). Jesus went further: "Our ancestors were told, 'You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.' But I say, do not make any vows! . . . Do not even say, 'By my head!' for you can't turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one" (Matthew 5:33-34, 36-37).
Integrity is a key issue to consider while making our inventory. We need to ask ourselves where we are still in hiding. If we are making renewed vows, saying God ordained a specific course, perhaps we would do well to ask ourselves why we need all the extra endorsements.
Integrity will be the natural result of making an honest inventory of ourselves.