perhaps you have been to an AA meeting or have a friend who is or was going or you heard about it or have seen it on TV, the way they fight their addiction is adopted from the way we are supposed to fight sin. There are many elements of faith incorporated in their program.
I didn’t even discover this until recently… in the past, when I was a therapist, I used to be critical of their methods, because I didn’t like their statements, which were in my opinion “affirmations” and “self-hypnotizing-mantras”… this is just a sidenote to demonstrate once again how the enemy twists our minds, even our professional discernment!
Anyhow, in case you are not familiar with the 12 steps, they start with first confessing, introducing themselves with “Hi, my name is suchandsuch and I am an alcoholic”, followed by further elaborating on what they have done while they were a slave to their addiction, often an account of destruction and hurt of themselves and others.
The process they are following is called the 12 step process and it goes as follows. These are the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
I came to believe they are valuable and great steps!
I think we can all use them.
Regardless if we are alcoholics, workoholics, sexoholics, eatoholics, lieoholics, greedoholics, smokoholics, coffoholics, shopoholics, socioholics, entertainoholics, leisureolics, pornoholics, careeroholics – idolators, to use the old bible language, or diviners, or adulators, or fornicators, masturbators, liars (I think we ALL are liars and we lie ALL the time!), thieves, speeders, horoscope readers (no, not allowed, not even for fun!), yoga students or teachers (no, not just physical exercise, it is actually hindhu worship practice!) – fashionistas (pride / vanity is the original sin and we are ALL guilty of it).
I am not talking to you or about you, I am talking about and to US.
So today, I thought it would be a “fun” experiment to run through the 12 step program with one of MY sins publicly here on my blog.
And so to say expose myself publicly and let you read through my confessions and confess and commit publicly towards you, my internet blog friends, what I will do to put things right… the more I am describing the upcoming “adventure”, the more I want to keep this post in the draft state forever… 😟
Anyhow, let’s go.
- Hi, my name is Eva and I am a liar.
Even though I want to live without ever telling a lie, I can’t.
I am powerless over it and my life has become unmanageable, I find myself in situations every single day where I bow to customs and politeness and where I tell lies in order not to be too weird or too different or where I bow to my fear of being rejected, ostracized or shunned if I told the truth, if I revealed how I really feel or think about certain things – instead of saying what is expected of me to say or even to think…
- The more I think about it, the more I realize that only GOD can help me live my life more honestly. That if HE helped me increase my faith and practice more and more honesty and learn to receive the consequences – with his help – only then could I change my life, could I overcome the need to belong to this world instead of being true to HIM every day, in every situation.
- Therefore, I decided here and today that I want to turn my life over to HIM, the every day life, not just the life when I am alone or when I am among fellow believers, but the life when I am working, when I am walking on the streets or riding in a bus, ALL of it. I understand that lying is a sin and that HE wants us to refrain from it and I turn my will over to HIM and ask HIM to overrule me, to show me what to say and to remind me that I made a vow not to lie anymore.
- When I made an inventory of myself about my lying habits, I discovered that I lie a lot about my emotional state (perhaps even to myself) in order to “hold it together” and in order not to scare people, in order to “function” at work or in life in general and perhaps, there is a more honest way, a way of being more transparent and of being less concealing and still not as alienating as I fear I would be if I told people what is really going on in me – with GOD’s help, I see my life become more real and more honest and more healthy.
- Although I do believe it is good not to blurt out all of our innermost pains and struggles to everyone, plus that it is also good not to confess too much negative states or emotions in order to overcome them better, I am well aware that never revealing anything is also not good and it is also a lie to always respond with “I am fine” – in a way, it is not, because we are fine as Children of THE MOST HIGH, but then, there are sometimes brothers and sisters here who really want to know what is going on and how we truly are and at least they deserve a better answer.
I am herewith vowing to disclose more of me to more people.
Not here online, here, I am pretty open – at least compared to my offline life.
I mean offline, in reality… giving people the chance to get to know me – more people and on more occasions and slowly… with GOD’s guidance and wisdom and help.
- I am ready to let GOD remove these “shields”, which are not really protecting, but more isolating me. And I am willing to let HIM decide when is a good time to be more open and more honest and towards whom.
- I am aware that I have been lying a lot.
I know that GOD hates liars.
I have often and am now repeatedly and sincerely repenting of this sin and ask for HIS help not to give in to temptation anymore in this area and to forgive me.
- I have harmed a lot of people who genuinely loved me and who noticed that there was a “glass wall” around me and some of them even had the courage to address it. I didn’t deny it, but I refused to remove it and share with them what happened to me, at least during that time, I believed that it would not be beneficial to share it, not for them and not for me – and I also wasn’t able to trust these people.
This must have been very hurtful for them and I am sorry for having hurt their feelings. I am not going to name them here, since this is my confession and my blog and this is not about them, but about me getting things right and most of all right with GOD, but I will find a way to apologize to them if I have not done so already.
- I will do that and apologize and will find a way to fill them in more about what is going on in me.
To some, I already have apologized. I will make sure not to add more people to the list of those who must have felt rejected by me and I will find a way to express that I am going through stuff and at the same time not revealing everything to everyone, but not to letting them feel rejected and pushed away.
I will also forgive myself for not being able to come out of my hurt, for not being able to trust.
There are now opportunities in my life being presented before me to open up and I will – towards fellow believers and people I can trust within the body of Christ, not towards everyone and I will not carry my heart on my sleeve, but I will confide in a few more people as GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT will guide me, for instance will I talk to the pastor of my new church. I did confide in the pastor of a church I used to attend and he made a few efforts to help me, but he didn’t follow through with it, which made me retreat and I believe it is one of the reasons why I felt lead to leave this church – I must admit though that this man was really busy and that he had so much going on in his life and little help in the church… he is one of the people I already thanked for all they have done for me and apologized to actually…
- This is one of the main reasons why I believe GOD has prompted me to become a new member of this church. They don’t know me, do not know what I know and some of them are new leaders and they have all these courses and a “sequence” of stages they have set up for new members, more or less made for new believers… it will be interesting (and some of them are already starting to tell me what to do) to find a balance between learning new things and also being true to who GOD has already made me and to what HE has already taught me – I can see a few learnings coming for me and also for them and I am open for being corrected and I learned most of all that I need to be open to THE HOLY SPIRIT 24/7, because when HE tells me I need to change or learn something, there is absolutely no way around it and if HE signs me up for a course, my attendance is mandatory.
I will especially watch out for lies, which I want to get rid of.
Today, for instance, I said “I’m ok.” instead of my usual response “I’m good and you.” and when my pastor asked me how I am and I sensed that he was truly asking, I said “It is well.” and he immediately knew that this means I have “stuff” to deal with.
So these are good beginnings.
And I am committed to speaking more truth and to really try very, very hard not to lie anymore, not even small lies.
- And I pray and ask GOD to really remind me of this, as I want to live my best life for HIM, to stretch myself to my best ability, to become as pure and as obedient as I can and I am willing to take the consequences of the world finding me “weird” when I speak the truth and at the same time, I ask HIM to help me never to be offensive towards a person, only perhaps if necessary towards their beliefs – and I believe that is probably unavoidable, but I pray that HE will help me to do it in a way that they will be edified and inspired by it, not alienated and infuriated.
- Well, this is what I am doing here, is it not.
And I challenge you to do the same, my friends.
When you do an inventory, do you find a sin that you are sometimes guilty of, or more than once a month guilty of, or do you even find it hard as well to go through life without lying?
Would you do the 12 steps with “your favorite sin”?
And perhaps even share the results here and/ or encourage others to work through this as well?
Hm, this wasn’t easy!
Especially not without being able to lie.
Try it for yourself?
And then share if you dare…?!!
I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal and bless you and that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life and that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.