In Celebrate Recovery, I’m working through the steps. I am on step 4.
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 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40
Something really struck me this week as I focused on this step….read it again…We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Now tie that together with the principle…openly examine and confess my faults.
It hit me like a ton of bricks as I listened to the coach teach about this step. Whenever I have done my inventory in the past, I have only included my faults (the bad).
This searching and fearless moral inventory should be both GOOD and BAD.
I am an expert at coming up with the bad in me. I could write the list, check it twice and then turn it into a rap song…maybe.
But my heart jumped at the thought of doing a good list (and then I threw up in my mouth a little).
Two years ago, I would have never considered this…write a good list about me??? No way! Have I done anything that might be considered good for crying out loud??!
I feel this is important. If you only focus on your faults…all the bad stuff you did…then it is easy for you to just think you are bad. You can become stuck…and when you become stuck…usually you will just return to your old ways.
I have allowed my own shame and guilt for the things I have done to define me for years. Along with that, I have also allowed people and ministry to define me and my worth.
This is the enemy’s definition of life for me! Day and night, the enemy whispers death to me in the form of lies and doubt. Are you sure you belong to God? Does God really forgive you? Are you sure you’ve suffered enough after what you have done? How could God possibly love you after what you did?
I’m picturing what used to be my brain under the influence of the enemy…an angry tumultuous sea…imagine with me…
SHAME + GUILT + APPROVAL OF MAN + WORKS = ME
ENOUGH of that hot mess! How can we tell the difference between the truth and the lies?
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Happy are the pure in heart…It’s true! Really! There is a beauty to coming clean. There is no more running, no more rationalizing, no more blaming, no more excuses. I’m not afraid of being found out…by my friends, my kids, my spouse.
Look at this beautiful verse.
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalm 32:1-2
And this beautiful Scripture…
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
I found mercy.
I didn’t deserve it.
I found grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Grace so sweet and deep…that even I would change my mind about me. It’s not too late. His timing is perfect. (Song lyrics from Mercy Me “I guess I’m better late than not at all or did you plan it this way all along; cuz without suffering grace is hard to see so maybe I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”)
It’s not that I would now think so highly of myself. It’s actually not about me at all. It’s about the One who is holding me. The One who died for me. The One who saved me. The One who loves me with a love that is fierce and unfailing.
We are all in this together…in the same boat. We are all in need of God’s forgiveness.
God forgives immediately upon asking. He doesn’t make us wait or suffer like humans do (thank you Jesus)
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
God forgives us freely.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
God forgives us completely.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Roman 8:1
It’s not about what I do…or did–it’s about what He did. The cross has made me flawless. Sigh.