Monday, September 21, 2015

The Confession Conundrum: Step 1--Quit Denying

Step 1. Realize I'm not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. Step 1, Celebrate Recovery.

One of the first principles in Celebrate Recovery, a Bible based version of AA, is to quit denying you have a problem. One way you deny, is to not confess your fault to another. By refusing to admit our shortcomings, we put on airs and delude ourselves to think we are more righteous than Jesus.

Of course, I'm not self-righteous. And I assume you aren't either.

I should have gotten the hint about my secret sin when I went to my first newcomers' meeting. We introduced ourselves, and I feared all the participants, including the woman who lead the group would think I was a recovering junkie. The woman leading it was prominent in the church, after all.

You'd be proud. I bit my lip. Didn't jump up and say, "I'm NOT an alcoholic. I'm just here to help you guys get straight."

No brownie points?

Anyway, the time to leave came and the two dudes I sat with needed vouchers. Their visits, unlike mine, were mandated. We each got our first token to mark the start of our path to recovery.

I put on my big girl smile, and took my coin with grace. Next week I'd go to my first real small group.

Thursday rolled around, and I followed a sweet woman who had befriended me to the group she led. Here we introduced ourselves.

My friend didn't say, "Carol is hear to learn to minister." Nope. She treated me just like everyone else. We introduced ourselves with a brief reason as to why we were there. Here I encountered the problem from the week before. I was here to help--not to be helped.God had other things in mind.

We examined  the lesson. It dealt with denial.

In the pauses I studied the people--all very much like the voucher-boys from the week before, drug-using thin, dependent on druggie boyfriend, poorly dressed, too heavy. Oy. I needed help.

Things went downhill from there. My friend said it was time for each of us to confess what we were struggling with. I wasn't an alcoholic, didn't attend because of drugs. I lived to the best of my abilities. In my brain, I couldn't come up with a reason to be there.

It wasn't long before I knew my sin--one you guessed by paragraph #2. However, I couldn't tell the women in the group. I never can tell them. Because I know the ravages of alcoholism and have heard the stories of drug addiction, I want to help. If I confessed to them, could they ever open up to me? Would I ever become a friend and confident and see them as the beautiful creation they are?

In truth, I don't think so. Yet, step one says we're helpless to change ourselves. We're not God. The key here is to admit we are powerless.

So I'll start my repentance here.

My name is Carol and I am a Pharisee. I judge superficially, and I know I do. I cannot stop the thoughts from popping into my brain, but if I lean on RC's first principal and remember that I am not God, He will change all that.

What do you struggle with? Don't deny. Find a safe place. Confess and let God heal.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:19

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