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Friday, June 05, 2009

CR Principle 4

Principle 4 says I openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps 4 and 5)

“Happy are the pure in heart.” Matthew 5:8

I believe the first four (4) principles in Celebrate Recovery are the hardest. Each presented me with particular challenges and took some time to work through. Principle 4 was no exception.

James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to one another and be healed.” I had always understood that you must confess your sins to God to be forgiven. But somehow I had overlooked this “fine print” in the Bible! It turns out that healing from the sin patterns in my life required more than confession to God. It seems God’s plan for healing and giving me victory over habitual and addictive sin patterns requires me to humble myself before another piece of human flesh. I have to tell you, this was my least favorite part of recovery!

You see, I had dark sins to confess. My list of sin patterns was long --- and shameful. The simple fact of the matter had two components. First, I had always believed that my behaviors defined me. Secondly, I knew how bad I was. That had always been a dark secret which I protected at all costs.

But I came to realize through working the 4th Principle (and 4th Step) that God wants at least one other human being to know the very worst that there is to be known about me. I don’t understand why God has this condition for us. But I have come to understand that He is a God of conditions. And this is a big one. If I want a full life in Christ, I have to do things His way.

I mentioned the man I met in Korea. He was actually the first I confessed anything to. When I had confessed the worst of my sins to him, an enormous weight was lifted off of me. I came home and met face-to-face with three friends --- and told them what I’d done. I apologized for not trusting them and instead going to a stranger half way around the world. And I confessed the same sins to those men. They prayed for me and loved me and I am still very close with two of them today, several years later. Yet they know the very worst that there is to be known about me.

You see, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of Principle 4. The thing is we all need to get a “black belt” in confession. We confess what needs to be prayed over – not gossiped over. And we confess it to the saints (after all, it was mature believers that James was writing to). So I find a mature believer whom is trustworthy and I tell them I need to confess some things. I do it regularly. I do it truthfully. I stayed “confessed up.” You should too. The benefits are amazing. It is God’s plan for healing. Confess your sins to one another and be healed.

Those dark sins I’ve had to confess? I have victory over each and every single one of them today!

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