“A Christ-centered approach to recovery and coordinating small group meetings”

Step Five 

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” 

A part of doing step five is taking a good look at what we wrote in step four.  We have been hiding some of this stuff from ourselves all of our lives.  Now, we must muster up the courage and face the truth as we look at our past.  We must be as objective as possible. 

We look at everything we wrote and we begin to see patterns and things that we never knew were a part of our lives.  This may cause some pain as we get an overview of our lives from an angle that we never saw before.  We have to be careful here not to beat ourselves up. 

Seeing what we wrote down in this new light can act as an obstacle to continuing on in our program of recovery.  We may be tempted to say to ourselves, “This is some ugly stuff here, I can’t share it with another person because they will think terrible things about me.” 

Sometimes the only thing that keeps us from completing step four is our fear of doing the fifth step.  It’s tempting to piddle around in trying to get our writing step four “perfect” before doing step five.  We use it as an excuse to not get on with our program.  We must muster up all the courage that we can and press on because it is the only way we can get better. 

Another trap that we can fall into is the familiar attitude that, “I don’t have to share these things with another person – I only need to confess to God to be forgiven.”  We don’t have to debate that point.  What we are talking about here is that special healing that takes place when we confess our sins to another human  being.  “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other and be healed.”  (James 5:16) 

It’s next to impossible to feel accepted, forgiven and loved by God when we have never experienced that with another human being.  Other people can’t love us if they don’t know us.  They can only love who they think we are or who we are pretending to be like.  Get Real! 

As is clearly documented by the above Bible verse, this principle was not devised by people it was ordained by God Himself.  When we are ready to take this step, the Lord will provide the exact right person to hear our stories.  We need to be prayerful about this matter and the Lord will lead us to the right person to share our inventories. 

We want to be courageous, but we do want to exercise caution to share our information with a responsible individual.  This person might be a priest, minister, pastor, professional counselor, trusted friend or a “recovery sponsor.”  A sponsor is somebody that has more experience in recovery than we do and has agreed to help us work the steps. 

To our surprise the person who hears our story, does not judge us.  They may have done similar things.  We were able to get out those secrets that we thought we would be saddled with to the grave.  We do this step prayerfully with another person in the presence of God.  This is a holy time and a healing time.  It is a time that we need to be willing to receive God’s forgiveness and rest in that assurance. 

We are only as sick as our secrets.  After taking this step we have fewer secrets and less sickness.  We are different and we feel different.  Some of us have felt such overwhelming love, forgiveness and freedom that we didn’t know how to handle it.  This is also a vulnerable time.  We may want to schedule a quiet place to go and have communion and meditation with the Lord.