Proverbs 10:9 Honesty lives confident and carefree, but Shifty is sure to be exposed.
Proverbs 10:9 Honesty lives confident and carefree, but Shifty is sure to be exposed.
Luke 19:8 Zacchaeus stood up. He said, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of what I own to those who are poor. And if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay it back. I will pay back four times the amount I took.”
God knows the things we have done wrong. He knows the people we need to make put on our list. Yet He leaves it up to us. He does that so we can learn the importance of honesty in the process of recovery.
When we write our list it can be tempting to leave people off because we didn’t hurt them very much, they hurt us just as bad or because we don’t think God really cares about that one.
Our list needs to include everyone we can remember hurting or who have hurt us. Remember the list isn’t going to be shared with anyone to be as honest as you can.
- Is there anyone you have left off your list intentionally?
Prayer: Lord help me be as honest as I can when making my list.
In his place shall arise a vile person ……. he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. Daniel 11:21
In recovery, we realize there is no mincing of words, no pulling the wool over our eyes, no departure from honesty and no infiltration of fantasy. We face the facts, we see ourselves as we really are, warts and all. But we also see the hidden credentials. We are confronted with the truth of the Bible and challenged to consider Christ.
A caring God gives high premium to those who drugged by lies and ruined by recklessness come to sanity and rectify their mistakes, ideas, and ways. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7 This is the commendable thing in honesty to do: Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6
It is incumbent on us, to be honest, and face up to the truth. Not allowing ourselves to be cheated by an abundance of intrigue, should it appear. We need to maximize our effort at gaining God’s commendation for seeking and knowing Jesus Christ as our One True Higher Power. 2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Jesus said Luke 12:2 There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
Romans 14:12 You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.
Most of us when explaining or pasts want to justify our actions. I did. The last thing I wanted to do was take responsibility for the mess that became my life.
Step six is about trusting God to change our bad habits. That requires honesty and taking responsibility for the things we have done.
Recovery is about taking responsibility. Where we are now had nothing to do with our circumstances, our upbringing or anything anyone else has done to us. Where we are now is about how we reacted to those things.
Recovery is about learning new ways of reacting when things don’t go our way.
What or who have you blamed for your current situation?
Proverbs 14:14 Those who aren’t faithful will be paid back for what they’ve done.
If you want to be forgiven, you have to forgive.
Step four is the beginning of the process of forgiveness. Identifying the wrong things, you have done and how they have affected others.
In the process of completing step four, I had a very good support person. Whom I would go to periodically with my list and talk about it openly and honestly. That person had my permission to comment on and criticise my list if they felt it warranted.
None of us, in my opinion, should complete the fourth step without a trusted support person in whom to confide and share.
- Do you have a trusted support person to confide and share with?
STEP ONE: I admit that my life is a mess and I am out of control.
I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. Romans 7:18-21
Honesty – The operating principle behind step one is honesty. If you can’t get honest about your problems and get honest about making a sincere effort to resolve them, you will not succeed. A good definition of honesty is the absence of the intention to deceive? Who are you trying to deceive?
The integrity of the honest keeps them on track. An honest life shows respect for God. It is better to be poor and honest than a rich person no one can trust. God-loyal people, living honest lives, make it much easier for their children.
God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love–like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do.
Proverbs 11:3 ~ Proverbs 14:2 ~ Proverbs 19:1 ~ Proverbs 20:7 ~ Ephesians 4:15
The truth brings freedom. Only Jesus offers true freedom. Our job is to learn the steps and apply them to every area of our lives daily and share the message of ‘Good News’ with others who are still struggling in their problems. We can do this only by speaking the truth and backing up our words by demonstrating what He has done for us.
An invitation to love. One of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible about love is 1 Corinthians 1:13. Paul points out in this chapter loves is more than emotion; it is selfless action. Love requires telling the truth. Even when it’s difficult or painful. No relationship built on lies can improve our lives or the lives with those we are in a relationship with.
The importance of trust. When life is going smoothly, trust is easy. Trust in our lives is tested when nothing makes sense. God alone is sufficient to help us deal with our problems when nothing seems to be going right. But, for Him to help us we need to tell Him the truth (even though He knows it anyway) do what we can to resolve our problems and trust Him for the outcomes.
Rejected honesty is better than accepted dishonesty. God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. 1 Thessalonians 2:3 When Jesus Christ becomes our Higher Power it comes with a responsibility, to be honest in our words and in our actions.
Honesty breeds trust. Since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you. James 5:12
Exaggerating and lying makes it difficult for anyone to believe us. Always tell the truth and you will become trustworthy.
Luke 11:36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.
The only way to work out what in your life is stopping you from following God is to take inventory, Step Four says “In order to help me change, I will investigate and record with God’s help – my sinful habits and attitudes.”
The first time I took an honest inventory of my life, my habits and attitudes were whilst staying in the William Both Men’s Hostel in Adelaide. I had decided before I ever got to recovery if I really wanted to change my life I needed to know and to understand me. I still have a copy of that inventory. The language is colorful. Some of the things I wrote were untrue but I believed them at the time based on how I was feeling back then.
- When was the last time you took an honest look at yourself?
Ephesians 4:25 Each of you must get rid of your lying. Speak the truth to your neighbor. We are all parts of one body.
The cause of all relapse is dishonesty. Lying to God, to ourselves or to others leads to more lies to cover up the first lie told. The result from the first lie leading us back into our old ways of thinking, acting and reacting.
I am still surprised how many people I hear justifying their lies to protect the other person. Lying protects nobody because when the truth is revealed it is a bigger task to repair the damage than it would have been telling the truth.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says recovery is a process that demands rigorous honesty.
– Have you lied today?
– Do you need to talk to God about it?
Prayer: Lord help me today, to tell the truth, no matter how hard it seems.
HUMILITY LEADS TO SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY
Proverbs 15:32-33 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny; an obedient, God-willed life is spacious. Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living– first you learn humility, then you experience glory.
HUMILITY LEADS TO GOD’S PROTECTION
Proverbs 18:10-13 God’s name is a place of protection– good people can run there and be safe. The rich think their wealth protects them; they imagine themselves safe behind it. Pride first, then the crash, but humility is precursor to honor. Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.
HUMILITY HELPS US TO SEE WHAT’S COMING AND PREPARE FOR IT
Proverbs 22:2-5 The rich and the poor shake hands as equals– God made them both! A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered. The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-God is plenty and honor and a satisfying life. The perverse travel a dangerous road, potholed and mud-slick; if you know what’s good for you, stay clear of it.
HUMILITY HELPS US TO HONESTLY LOOK AT OUR LIVES
Acts 20:16-20 Paul had decided to bypass Ephesus so that he wouldn’t be held up in Asia province. He was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem in time for the Feast of Pentecost, if at all possible. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus for the leaders of the congregation. When they arrived, he said, “You know that from day one of my arrival in Asia I was with you totally– laying my life on the line, serving the Master no matter what, putting up with no end of scheming by Jews who wanted to do me in. I didn’t skimp or trim in any way. Every truth and encouragement that could have made a difference to you, you got. I taught you out in public and I taught you in your homes,
HUMILITY HELPS US TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND ACCEPT OUR TRUE SELVES
1 Peter 5:2-6 Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way. When God, who is the best shepherd of all, comes out in the open with his rule, he’ll see that you’ve done it right and commend you lavishly. And you who are younger must follow your leaders. But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for– God has had it with the proud, but takes delight in just plain people. So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time.