Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Hebrews 4:14-16 The Message
“Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” -Paul Tournier
Taking the Next Step
With whom are we going to get real? To whom will we get honest and make our admissions? Some general guidelines will help us find the right kind of person, who in turn, will help us make the most of our Step Five experience. It is important for us to understand first and foremost that there is no one particular person who can completely accept us, and all that we are, in total love. Giving total and complete love is Jesus’ job. No one can do that for us but Him. The purpose of getting real and honest with another person is so that we can experience redemption and restoration at a social level, with other human beings.
It’s been suggested that we choose someone of the same gender. This is not a hard and fast rule but, especially where sexual issues or addictions are involved, we will probably feel more at ease with someone of the same gender. Pastors and members of the clergy usually work quite well, but not always. Competent counselors, therapists or the appropriate mental health professionals should be considered. They can usually be very helpful in matters related to recovery from addiction. We want to find someone we trust, someone who is able keep all that we have to tell them in complete confidence. Above all, we want to find someone who exemplifies the love and acceptance of Jesus. The person we choose to speak with needs to be confident in our ability to recover based on the power of God’s love. They need to believe that Jesus’ love can help all people, especially those of us who are working to recover from our addictions. In many ways, our listener becomes our advocate at a personal and social level much like Jesus is our advocate with God. A person who has suffered from and is recovering from an addiction is often a very good choice. Most of all, we need to find someone who is capable of looking past whatever self-deception that is still holding us back. And, at the same time, our listener needs to see us for who we really are, like God sees us. It is important that they not ignore the remaining personal dishonesty that we still have. We need them to be understanding and patient with us at the same time, too.
Once we have found someone who we feel comfortable with, we need to tell that person the reason why we feel the need to have a serious discussion. Respectfully, we’ll ask him or her for their time. We need to tell that person that we are working to recover from an addiction and that we need help from others to do so. We should explain that it may take more than one appointment. These conversations cannot be rushed if they are to be effective. It is important that we express our desire to have a growing faith in God and trusting relationships with other people. It is also important that we explain that we are committing ourselves to be as honest in our conversations as we can be.
We need to tell our listener about what have habitually thought about ourselves, other people and God. Speaking to another person about our deepest reality means that we do not discuss the faults and mistakes of other people. Right now, at this point in time, problems and faults of others are not our concern. Focusing on the problems that other people have created for us will only deepen our resentment and anger. Let’s stick with the facts about ourselves.
Often, our greatest motivation will be the pain that our addictions have brought into our lives. Reaching out for all the goodness that God has, let us make the most of this opportunity, and this day, so that we can recover from our addictions and, best of all, experience all of the goodness that God gives.
from Our Journey Home
copyright 2011, David Zailer