Principle 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. “Happy are the pure in heart.” (Matthew 5:8)
Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
After writing an inventory, we must deal with what we have written. the fist way we do that is to confess our sins to God. Let’s review the acrostic for CONFESS.
Confess your shortcomings, resentments, and sins – God wants us to come clean. We need to admit that “what is wrong is wrong. We’re guilty as charged.” We need to own up to the sins we discovered in our inventory. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 23:13)
Obey God’s directions – Principle 4 sums up god’s directions for confessing our sins.
1. We confess our sins to God.
“As surely as I am the living God, days the Lord, everyone will kneel before me, and everyone will confess that I am God.” Every one of us, then, will have to give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12)
2. We share them with another person whom we trust:
“Therefore confess you sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
No more guilt – this step begins to restore our confidence and our relationships and allow us to move on from our “rearview mirror” living. In Romans 8:1 we are assured that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
“All of us have sinned; yet now God declares us “not guilty”… if we trust in Jesus Christ, who…freely takes away our sins.” (Romans 3:23-24, TLB)
The “CON” is over! We have followed God’s directions on how to confess our wrongs. Four very positive things start to happen after we “FESS” up.
Face the truth – recovery requires honesty! After we complete this principle we can allow the light of God’s truth to heal our hurts, hang-ups, and habits. We stop denying our true feelings. “Jesus…said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
Ease the pain – “we are only as sick as our secrets!” When we share our deepest secrets we divide the pain and the shame. We begin to see a healthy self-worth develop, one that is no longer based on the world’s standards, but on those of Jesus Christ.
“There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration…My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess them to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (Psalm 32:3-5, TLB)
Stop the blame – we cannot find peace and serenity of we continue to blame ourselves or others. Our secrets have isolated us from each other. They have prevented intimacy in all our relationships. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and fail to notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a plank in your own? Take the plank out of your eye first, and then you can see clearly enough to remove your brother’s speck of dust.” (Matthew 7:3, PH)
Start accepting God’s forgiveness – once we accept God’s forgiveness we can look other in the eye. We understand ourselves and our past actions in a “new light.” We are ready to find the humility to exchange our shortcomings in Principle 5. ”
It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).” (2 Corinthians 5:19, Amplified Bible)
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” (1 John 1:9, Amplified Bible)
Write About It
- What wrongs, resentments, or secret sins are keeping you awake at night? Wouldn’t you like to get rid of them?
- What value do you see in confessing, in coming clean of the wreckage of your past?
- As you obey God’s directions for confession, what results do you expect God to produce in your life?
- What freedom do you feel because of the words of Romans 8:1 and Romans 3:23-24? What specifically do the phrases “no condemnation” and “not guilty” mean to you?
- After you complete Principle 4, you will find four areas of your life begin to improve. You will be able to face the truth, ease the pain, stop the blame, and start accepting God’s forgiveness. In what areas of your life will each of these four positive changes help your recovery?
I can be more honest with…
I can ease my pain by…
I can stop blaming…
I can accept God’s forgiveness because of…