“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” Proverbs 28:13-14 NLT
"My false and private self is the one who wants to exist outside the reach of God’s will and God’s love – outside of reality and outside of life. And such a self cannot help but be an illusion."
- Thomas Merton
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Getting honest about the details of our lives is the most powerful thing we can do to strengthen our intimate connection with God. Honesty puts us on the same page with Him. Knowing that He knows everything about us, there is no reason to hide what is inside of us anymore. When we get honest with God, we “cash the check” so to speak; we open ourselves up and receive the grace that He has already provided for us through Christ.
Step Five is not a religious exercise, so it’s important that we don’t over-spiritualize this aspect of our recovery. We are just admitting, with as much detail as we can, what God already knows. We acknowledge that we have never benefited from minimizing our weaknesses and shortcomings. We admit our pride and our stubbornness, with as much clarity as possible, most notably all of our silly attempts to solve our spiritual and emotional problems. We confess that we have been self-righteous in covert and creative ways. We admit that we have never fooled God and that we rarely fooled anyone else, only ourselves. We tell the details about how we have judged other people and, with as much humility as possible, we admit how our religiosity has kept God—and the goodness that He intends for us—at arm’s length.
God has known us in a deep way. Now we will begin to know ourselves in a deep way, too. As we are willing to admit the exact nature of our wrongs to God, we will be able to embrace the acceptance that He gives and then begin to accept ourselves in the same way—even the worst about us. The more we admit our shortcomings to God, the more we slice away at the fears that have ruled us from the inside. We will learn to be at peace with the mysterious ways of God. Embracing His deep acceptance, we will no longer be obsessed with trying to figure out the hidden streams and currents of God. We will lose our inhibitions. We will want to strip down, reveal ourselves completely and swim in the power of goodness that God offers to us. We will never sink or get lost when we are honest with God. He’ll do the navigating for us. Realizing that we are known by God in this intimate way, we can live at rest. We will be buoyed in His grace forever, floating and moving with the currents of His guidance and care. There is no need to fear the oceanic mystery of God anymore. No matter where His currents lead our lives, the ultimate destination for us is more than very, very good.
This is an excerpt from Our Journey Home - Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery, by David Zailer Copyright David Zailer, 2011
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