Post details: Recovery Through Honesty


Permalink 08:03:05 am, Step(s): 05 Confession, 353 words   English (US)

Recovery Through Honesty

A common recovery phrase is, "We're only as sick as our secrets". But like most catch phrases, you can only carry that so far...

I once knew a man who, because of inappropriate behavior with a minor, was fearful of being incarcerated. Because of his fear alone, he revealed to me much of what he had been involved in. He wanted recovery, so he could tell the judge how well he was doing -- hoping for mercy. I shared with him my own recovery story and invited him to get involved with the 12-Step program. He did actually go to group -- once. But, when he found out that the minor (now an adult) was not going to press charges, he lost interest in recovery. He never again went to a meeting, and he never spoke with me after that.

This man did what seemed to me to be an honest confession, and he did a decent moral inventory, so what went wrong? Well, he pretty much ignored the first 3 steps. He didn't understand his own powerlessness and, because of so-called Christians who were abusive to him, he wasn't too sure if he wanted God to rule over him. So, there was no way he was ready to surrender his life to God. Fear of negative consequences can be a good motivator, but if that is the only motivation, failure is the likely result.

Early in my recovery process, I was filled with fear that I might face some very negative consequences for my past actions. But because I was already committed to recovery through surrender to my Loving Heavenly Father, that fear served to move me into a deeper, more complete recovery process. Even though it was very painful then, now I am thankful for that experience.

I have found that when we are honest with ourselves, with God, and at least one other person, our recovery process is greatly accelerated. I think this is what James was talking about, when he said, "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 ). And I am so thankful that, "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 ).


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

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