AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts on Recovery – No. 38 – Step 4 – Resentment Inventory – Freedom from Anger

This info on step 4 resentment on pages 66-7 has given me freedom from the bondage of anger. I reviewed how considering the first three columns gave me truth about my anger. They tell me now that this list of resentments holds the key to my future! Do you think they really mean the key to my future?

If I am going to live I must be free of anger!  They don’t say I won’t get angry but when I do I must be able to let go of it! So the key to my future is to master anger and resentment. But how does this happen!

The three paragraphs on p66-7 give me the instructions . I have been to several thousand AA meetings but can’t recall a single one other than the EBB where these instructions are reviewed. Sad because I believe if you incorporate these simple instructions into your life you access a power to be free of the bondage of my anger or judgement .

The first instruction is to see that the people who I think were wrong may have been spiritually sick.  What does that mean?  To me it means we are all human beings and have our own personality. Some do actions that are the result of their self centeredness. Often it is just who they are and I have to accept it. Other times someones actions are inexcusable but I must forgive to be free of my resentment but that does not mean I excuse them. Remember this is about me being free and really has nothing to do with them or what they did. This is tough for some but remember there is no justified anger and we have agreed to go to any length.

By changing my attitude I am then directed to ask God to give me patience , tolerance , and pity as I would for a sick friend. If I am tolerant , patient, and sympathetic then I am no longer angry.

The next instruction is to ask God to direct me how to be helpful to them. This results in my turning away from my negative emotions to one of love and tolerance.

Then comes for me the most powerful prayer in the big book. This prayer has changed my life.  God save me from being angry at ——. Notice I am asking me from being free from anger! You hear a lot about praying for the person. But that is not the instruction! I am praying for me to be relieved from the bondage of anger. Notice I need to be saved from my anger. Saved from the destruction my anger causes me spiritually. My goal is a relationship with my creator and my anger blocks me from God and leads to a life of futility and hopelessness.

Finally the last instruction is to never argue or retaliate. The last prayer is to ask God to give me a kind and tolerant view of everyone.  Notice it says everyone. Do you think they mean everyone? Remember any anger blocks me from the sunlight of the spirit.

I make my sponsees write out these simple instructions and pray them for everyone on their list. They are to keep doing them until the negative feelings are gone and replaced with tolerance, patience, and  forgiveness.

Whenever I become disturbed I go through these instructions quickly so I am free! Try this for a while and see the results!




Share this post!


  1. J V on April 2, 2018 at 1:09 am

    Excellent. If I had a nickle for every person in AA who told me to “pray for the person” I’d be warren buffett. I have found it doesn’t work for me. At all. Actually makes it worse. Following instruction on pg 66-67 like you indicated set me free.

  2. Margaret Ralph on September 7, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Perfect! I am 30 years sober and as a result of a routine eye surgery hone bad, I have lost all my vision in my right eye.

Leave a Comment