September 19th, 2011 at 10:25 pm
One step closer to recovery
I recently had the experience of testifying in court. It’s quite an experience to stand before a judge lift your hand and promise to tell the truth in a court of law. The words are powerful and can effect the outcome of a case, a life and a family.
Truth is also an important concept in recovery. Unless a person can truly be honest about the reality of their life and choices then true recovery is not possible. Actually telling the truth can be very painful as one admits to short comings, poor choices and sinful deeds. Yet in the pain honesty, forgiveness and restoration can be found.
Step 5 in AA says, “We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” As a therapist, I’ve worked with hundreds of people on this step and have gotten to be a part of the awesome transition from guilt to grace. For as a person is able to fully see the truth about their life and choices, repent, and experience forgiveness then one is free to walk with Christ in His grace.
Part of the struggle of Step 5 is to admit that wrong is wrong. The step is a time to agree with God about the exact nature of the wrong and the fact that the sinful part of ourself is focused on covering up the problem. Part of the freedom that comes in step 5 is admitting what we know deep down inside to be the truth.
One of the most difficult parts of step 5 is overcoming denial. It’s tough because by definition a person has trouble understanding that they are in fact lying to themselves. It’s a person of courage who can honestly ask God to reveal to them the truth. Yet by God’s nature, He already knows the truth and loves us unconditionally. So a part of the step is to trust that even in the ugly, shameful and sometimes heart breaking truth God is big enough, loving enough and faithful enough to always forgive when we are truly repentant.
The Bible says in John 8:32, “For you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” In the process of the telling of the truth, there is an internal peace that was lost years ago that is now found. The truth does lead each of us one step closer to recovery and to a life of freedom in His Grace.