· OK, tonight’s lesson based on Principle 4 & Step 5:
1. Principle 4: “Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.”
2. Step 5: “Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs.”
§ Which of course is taken from James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
· You remember Last Week we started this idea with the lesson on “CONFESSION” . Confession & Admission go hand in hand. Tonight we will expand on what we started in our previous lesson.
· ASK: Can anyone tell me what Romans 6:23 says ??? (Answer: “Wages of sin is death – but gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”)
1. ASK: What does that mean to you?
§ Answer: If you work hard for sin your whole life, then your reward will surely be DEATH. But life God’s way is REAL LIFE, and pension is eternal life BUT only through JC.
2. OK, let’s play w/this “wages” metaphor a bit:
§ So – there is a “wage” or “earning” for SIN in our lives.
· Well it’s also NOT JUST a cut & dried where (X) sin = (Y) wage. NO, there is almost always a Tax on your investment as well as a change in the rate.
o You see- the devil is like a “loan shark” He keeps raising the stakes. Until you are trapped beyond your ability to ever repay.
· BY THE WAY: (aside) If the wages of sin is death, shouldn’t you quit before payday?
· Let’s get serious here: POINT of Romans 6:23 here (in relation to our lesson on Admitting our sins to one another) is this: There is a consequence for our Sins AND we keep those “sins” a secret whenever possible.
1. To use the “wage metaphor” we keep the “sin earnings” UNREPORTED. And the consequences eventually catch up with us.
2. The more secrets we keep – the more the Loan Shark has over our heads.
· So “Why Do I Have To ADMIT My Wrongs to another??”
1. Because: Keeping those “wrongs” or sins secret all our lives TAKES A TOLL on us.
§ The Toll = Loss of self-respect / energy / bondage to old codependent habits.
§ ADMITTING those secrets – out loud - strips them of the power they have over us. Just speaking them will dilute their power.
2. STILL – we are afraid to reveal our secrets to another person – even someone we trust. ASK: WHY?
§ (let them brainstorm on this)
§ Answer: Betrayal / harm – used against us / rejected / ostracized / avoided / hated / never trusted again / etc.
· OK, Tonight I want you to hear TRUTH. I want you to know what you really have to lose by admitting your wrongs: (take out your bulletins)
1. First, We lose our sense of isolation.
§ Remember the story about the little girl in the well? When you admit your wrongs to another person you invite someone down in that well – right alongside of you.
§ The result is that feeling of isolation begins to vanish
2. Second, We will begin to lose our unwillingness to forgive.
§ WOW, that’s a mouthful. When people accept and forgive us, we start to see that we can forgive others. (The Lord’s Prayer)
3. Third, We will lose our inflated, false pride.
§ AS we see and accept who we are, we begin to gain true humility, which involves seeing ourselves as we really are and seeing God as He really is.
4. Fourth & Final, We will lose our sense of Denial.
§ It’s easy to see that being TRUTHFUL with another person will tear away at our denial.
§ Results in us feeling clean and honest.
· OK, those were the 4 “things you have to “LOSE” when you admit your wrongs to another person. NOW, lets look at 3 “Things you have to GAIN”.
1. We gain the HEALING that the Bible promises.
a. Look at James 5:16 again: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be HEALED.”
b. Obvious key word = “Healed”
c. NOTICE it does NOT say: “Confess your sins to one another and you will be “forgiven”.
i. No, God already Forgave you when you confessed your sins to HIM.
ii. HE says: You will begin the “Healing Process” when you confess your sins to another. WOW!! Powerful promise!
2. OK, the 2nd thing we “gain” is FREEDOM.
a. Our secrets have kept us in CHAINS - bound - frozen, unable to move forward in any of our relationships – with God OR others.
b. Admitting our sins “Snaps” those chains so God can get about His business of Healing
i. Psalm 107:13-14 “They cried to the Lord in their troubles, and he rescued them! He led them from the darkness and the shadow of death and “SNAPPED” their chains. “
c. Word of Caution (However) Unconfessed Sin will Fester. In Psalm 32:3-4 David tells us what happened to him when he tried to hide his sins: “When I did not confess my sins, I was worn out from crying all day long…My strength was completely drained.”
i. Openness is to wholeness (or being healthy) AS Secrets are to sickness.
ii. Remember that the only sin God can NOT forgive is the one you don’t confess.
3. Now – the 3rd thing we gain from admitting your wrongs to another is: You gain SUPPORT.
a. Think about it – when someone else sees your inventory they are more likely to support you
i. They can keep you focused & provide feedback.
ii. When denial creeps in and you do the unhealthy “self talk”, that’s when you need someone whom you have confided in to challenge you with the TRUTH
b. But most of all – the value of just having someone listen to you and hear what you have to say is priceless.
ALRIGHT NOW: HOW DO YOU CHOOSE SOMEONE TO TELL YOUR SECRETS TO???
· Unlike little Jessica in the well – you get to CHOOSE the person who comes down in your well with you.
· So choose well.
o Don’t want someone to say: “ You did WHAT ?” or “You shouldn’t have done that you know…”
o You are not looking for a Judge or a Jury
§ We already talked about the Verdict: Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and you have been found “not guilty” by virtue of association with JC. In 1st John 1:9 “If we confess our sins , he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us…”
· OK, so what you need is a good “Listener”
o Better if they are a growing Christian
o Better if they are familiar with 12 steps or 8 principles. (If not – make them familiar)
· Same sex – that you trust and respect
· Can be your Sponsor OR Accountability Partner (You do have one don’t you?)
o If they are a person who has had similar experiences it can result in healthy exchange.
· Set an appointment with the person – without interruptions
o No phones, no kids,
o Give it plenty of time.
ACTUAL GUIDELINES FOR YOUR MEETING (where you will begin to ADMIT):
1. Start w/Prayer
a. Pray for courage / humility / honesty (complete honesty) /
2. Read the scripture verses (provided in Bulletin insert)
3. Keep your sharing balanced between - weaknesses & Strengths!
4. End in Prayer. Thank God for the tools He has given you AND for the complete FORGIVENESS found in Christ.
ASK: Aren’t you tired? Don’t you want to let go? Listen to this video and think about letting go.
VIDEO: Skit Guys: “Completely” by Among The Thirsty (on you tube also) 3.5 minutes
1. PRAY: Dismiss to groups: Newcomers to room with:__________________