05/29/15

Permalink 08:51:01 am, Step(s): 05 Confession, 307 words   English (US)

Benefits of Confession

After taking an honest inventory of my life, the conviction to accept the truth and honestly confess these things was huge!

  • I must be honest with myself. How can I participate in God's healing process for me if I don't admit my sick condition to myself.
  • I must be honest with God because "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 ).
  • I need to confess to at least one trusted person, so that I can continue in this healing process (Matthew 3:6 )(Acts 19:18 )(James 5:16 ).

The forces of evil desire to hold us in isolation, with the deep, dark secrets of our lives hidden. Why?

  • No accountability.
  • To cause us to think we are the only one with these problems, leading to a greater load of shame.
  • To cause us to think there is no help for us, even that God has abandoned us.
  • To cause us to think that we may as well continue in our dysfunction.

The ancient Christian tradition of confession encourages us to come out of isolation and into the light of God's immeasurable grace by being honest about our true condition.

Being honest is often hard. I don't want to look like I'm a bad person. I want to have a good reputation. But, I've found that the benefits of practicing confession far outweigh the risk of looking bad. Why?

  • My shame is reduced. I experience a tremendous relief once it's over. It's a peace that I cannot experience without confession.
  • There is something about confession that reduces my tendency to make the same mistakes again. I think it has something to do with accountability...
  • I feel like I'm closer to God. I am able to communicate with Him more freely and it seems like His answers are more understandable.

"People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy." (Proverbs 28:13 )

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Step 5)

03/06/15

Permalink 08:19:58 am, Step(s): 05 Confession, 409 words   English (US)

We Are As Sick As Our Secrets

"We are as sick as our secrets. Our ego takes over control of our lives and when that happens our minds get very sick. Then we hurt people and our minds will always justify our actions. Our minds will give us rationalization and excuses that we are justified in doing what we are doing." (Audrey Shenandoah, a member of the Native American tribe: Onondaga)

"People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy." (Proverbs 28:13 )

I was a master at keeping the real me concealed from most everyone who knew me. But those deep, dark secret areas of my life were eroding my mind, my soul, and likely my body as well. As long as I was unwilling to be honest about what I was really like, what I was really feeling, my life only got worse.

But as a result of a deep moral inventory, I began to admit to myself just how much garbage had collected in my soul. And, not only did I cry out to God in contrition and confession (1 John 1:9 ), but I also became more and more convicted that I must confess my faults to another human being (James 5:16 ).

This was probably the most painful time of my life. I don't know who coined the phrase "No Pain, No Gain", but I've found it true in so many areas of my life -- especially when it comes to recovery. I testify to you today that "gain" in cooperating with God has been much more than, worth the pain of surrender.

It wasn't until I began to be honest with myself, with God, and with at least one other human being that my healing began. We are promised that we will be healed as we confess our faults to one another and pray for one another (James 5:16 ), and I've found this to be true.

But at that time, I did not know that relief would come as a result of my confession. I only knew that I had a deep conviction that I must do it. Satan wants to hold us in bondage through our isolation. He knows that if we let our secrets out, he will begin to lose his hold on us. Friend, I invite you now to break satan's hold on you by entering into this ancient Christian tradition of confession. "It works, if you work it, and YOU ARE WORTH IT!"

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Step 5)

12/12/14

Permalink 08:02:32 am, Step(s): 05 Confession, 358 words   English (US)

Three Confessions

After taking an honest moral inventory of our lives, it is tempting to take on a great deal of shame, as we begin to realize how horrible our behaviors have been. If we stop here, the weight of this shame and guilt can be too much to handle. It could even push us deeper into our addictions, or worse. That's why we need to do more than just admit (confess) these things to ourselves. There are two additional Bible principles we need to consider.

Second:"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9 )

Wow! That is so powerful! God says that, just admitting our mistakes to Him, is enough to have forgiveness from Him. To know we are forgiven greatly reduces our shame and guilt. So, why not go ahead and enter into this ancient Christian tradition of confession? God knows you better than yourself, so what do you have to lose? The only thing I lose, when I confess, is my guilt and shame. What I gain is forgiveness and peace. By this act I also become more accountable to God. As a result, I'm less interested in doing the same bad behavior again.

Third: Not only should we admit our mistakes to ourselves and to God, we must also: "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results" NLT(James 5:16 ).

By admitting my weaknesses to at least one other person, I become more accountable. I need that. I really believe that you are only as sick as your secrets. By being more open about these things, we tend to be less bound by the sins that have so easily beset us. A safe place to make these confessions is at a 12-Step meeting. This is one of the biggest reasons I like 12-Step groups. It gives me a place that I can be honest, without fear of gossip.

The control that our sick behaviors have over us can be broken through confession. Please don't let your secrets destroy your life any longer. God has a better way :-)

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you." (James 4:10 ) "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time;" (1 Peter 5:6 )

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Step 5)

09/18/14

Permalink 10:40:03 pm, Step(s): 05 Confession, 217 words   English (US)

Healing Through Confession

"He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy." (Proverbs 28:13 ). "Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working." (James 5:16 ).

"Perhaps the single greatest barrier to recovery is the inability to be honest". (Steps to Serenity, page 46)

"The only reason why we do not have remission of sins
that are past is that we are not willing to humble our hearts
and comply with the conditions of the word of truth.
Explicit instruction is given concerning this matter.
Confession of sin, whether public or private, should be heartfelt
and freely expressed." Ellen White (Steps to Christ, 38)

My unresolved issues isolated me from other people and from God. But, as I began to be honest with myself, God and with others, those barriers of isolation began to come down. I started to feel better about myself - my sense of shame was reduced. A common saying in 12-Step is, "We are only as sick as our secrets". There is a lot of truth to this.

Friend, if you are encumbered with a load of guilt and shame, I invite you to enter into this ancient, Christian tradition of confession. Jesus died on that cruel, old rugged cross to pay the penalty for your sins, and mine. And He is longing now to bless us with a new and better life, but He needs us to come out of denial and confess our sins.

For, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9 )

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Step 5)

06/27/14

Permalink 10:15:22 am, Step(s): 05 Confession, 280 words   English (US)

Being Honest About Me

Jesus says, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:11-12 )

The temptation is often to speak of our own "great works" -- trying to make ourselves look good to others -- maybe even in an attempt to make ourselves look better than others. We may even do it to try to make us feel better about ourselves. But Jesus gives us a strong warning against this kind of communication. Why? Well, I don't think He is being arbitrary. I'm convinced that He only wants the best for us.

When I try to hide the real me by focusing only on my good points (I might even exaggerate), those sins that so easily beset me gain power in my life. Worse yet, when I deny the existence of those weaknesses, there is no way that they can become strengths. It is only by facing my weaknesses and dealing with them -- in the strength of Jesus Christ -- that those weaknesses can be changed into strengths. That's why, in recovery circles, it is often said that "we are only as sick as our secrets".

When I give others a false picture of my life, it does them no good either. It could make them feel more inadequate and worthless if they think I have it all together, when they are hurting so badly as well. So what good is that?!

Why do we play these foolish games anyway? Why don't we just be honest with ourselves, with God, and with those we trust? When we do that, our weaknesses begin to loose their power over us and others will gather hope as they see the change in us. Then we can all praise God together :-)

"Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working." (James 5:16 )

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Step 5)

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