2002-10-09 - Twelve Steps to Christian Living
Part 5 Confession Time
The first four steps can be found at http://www.cfdevotionals.org/links/authdave.htm
Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
I hope you are still with me on this journey through the Twelve Steps. In Step Four, we began the process of implementing our decision to turn our lives and will over to God. This is a lifelong process. We will grow, plateau, and then grow some more, all in God's time and His will. We wrote down all the stumbling blocks in our lives that keep us from a right relationship with God.
Step Five is a confessional step. This confession helps to relieve us of the burdens, bindings and baggage we uncovered in Step Four. To implement this step, we must have a most trusted person who will hear and listen to our written personal inventory from Step Four. Why confess to another person, you ask? Can't I just confess to God? He knows all my wrongs. Well, I can't trust this mental playground called my mind, to just myself. I may secretly confess some wrongs to God, but without another person, I am prone to beat myself up over and over again for what my mind and the evil one will lead me to believe is an unforgiven and unforgotten sin.
James 5:16 (NLT) 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 wonderful results.
The person with whom we share our shortcomings is not the object of our confession; God is and we are. And He does want to hear our confessions. But we need a mentor to keep us on track and be non-judgmental. This mentor must be a very trusted, seasoned and spiritually mature person. And when we wallow again and again in our past foul-ups, our mentors can remind us that we confessed and that we were forgiven. Step Five is not only a step of confession; it is also a step toward healing.
The 5th Step also helps break the isolation we feel from others, not just God. When we are vulnerable and honest, deeply honest, with another human being, somehow that experience makes us less fearful to be of use to others. Farther along in the Steps, we will plow through the wreckage, weakness, worries and wrongs that keep us apart from God. Our goal is rightness with God, and in turn, our lives can be lived the way God intended -lives not bound by past resentments and fears.
We are only as sick as our secrets. When we admit our wrongs to another person, we no longer fear our secrets, nor are we immobilized by them. We are now ready to move to make more progress in our journey to becoming more like Christ, by turning our lives and will over to the care of God.
Jesus states in Luke 12:2-3 (NLT) The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!
Friends, the time has come. The time has come to quit hiding behind a false façade, a mask that we put in front of our true self. The time has come to break through the prison that we place ourselves in by hiding and quivering in fear.
Lord, give us Your strength, Your courage and Your wisdom to confess our sins not only to You and ourselves, but to another person as well. Thank You for being a God that forgives, no matter how bad we think we are. You love us in spite of ourselves. We long to be right with You and those around us. In Jesus' name, Amen.