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)
Think About It
People often ask me why they need to admit their wrongs to another person. There are three main reasons.
Why admit my wrongs?
1. We gain healing that the Bible promises.
Look at James 5:16 again. God’s Word tells us that we are to admit our wrongs, our sins, to one another. You do this not to receive their forgiveness, for God already forgave you when you confessed your wrongs and sins to Him. James 5:16 says to confess your sins to one another for healing.
Sharing our secrets, struggles, and failures with another is part of God’s plan of our healing process. The road to recovery is not meant to be walked alone.
2. We gain freedom
Our secrets have kept us in chains, bound up, frozen, and unable to move in all our relationships. Admitting our sins snaps the chains.
“They cried to the Lord in their troubles, and he rescued them! He led them from the darkness and the shadow of death and snapped their chains.” (Psalm 107:13-14, TLB)
3. We gain support
When you share your inventory with another person, you get support. The person can keep you focused and provide feedback. He or she can challenge you when denial surfaces. Most important, the person will listen!
How do I choose someone?
- Choose someone of the same sex as you whom you trust and respect.
- Ask your sponsor or accountability partner. Just be sure they have completed Principle 4 (or Steps 4 and 5)
- Set up an appointment with the person, a time without interruptions! It usually takes two to three hours to share your inventory.
Guidelines for you meeting
1. Start with prayer. Ask for courage, humility, and honesty. Here is a sample prayer:
God, I ask that You fill me with Your peace and strength during my sharing of my inventory. I know that You have forgiven me for my past wrongs, my sins. Thank You for sending Your Son to pay the price for me, so my sins can be forgiven. During this meeting help me to be humble and completely honest. Thank You for providing me with this program. Thank You for allowing the chains of my past to be snapped. In my Savior’s name I pray, Amen.
2. Read the Principle 4 verses found on pages 25 and 26 in this recovery guide.
3. Keep your sharing balanced – weaknesses and strengths!
4. End in prayer. Thank God for the tools He has given to you and for the complete forgiveness found in Christ!
“But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done>” (1 John 1:9, NCB)
Write About It
- In Principle 4 we are asked to give our inventory three times. Who are we to confess it to and why?
- Most of us find it easier to confess our wrongs to ourselves and God. We seem to have more difficulty in sharing them with another person. What is the most difficult part for you? Why?
- What is your biggest fear of sharing your inventory with another person?
- List three the pros and cons of each selection. Circle your final choice.
- Pick a quiet location to share your inventory. List three places and circle the best one.
Now you are ready for one of the most freeing experiences of your life here on this earth! You will appreciate James 5:16 as never before. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be health”