CONFESSION IS SHARING YOUR STUFF
The first thing we think of when it comes to confession is a guy in a Catholic church sitting in a confessional booth telling his sins to the priest… right?
We’ll sharing our sins is part of confession. But confession is defined in a more broad sense. Confession to me is “sharing your stuff.”
When you are sharing the things that are deep in your heart – that’s confession.
When you are revealing your secrets to someone – that’s confession.
When you are sharing the things you struggle with – that’s confession.
Bringing your stuff out into the light.
Our goal in “sharing our stuff” is to be known. If you are an addict, you are an expert in keeping secrets and hiding who you truly are inside. We are afraid to share our dark secrets and the intent of our heart with others. We are embarrassed by our behaviors and our habits that are hangups to us. We don’t want others to know the true us because we feel like they will reject us. We become experts in hiding, lying, and cover up.
But you cannot recover if you are holding onto secrets. You cannot walk in the light if you are secretly living in darkness. Our secrets will always wield a power over us when we hold on to them.
One of the biggest steps you may have to take in your recovery is to share you junk with other people. Those that are doing well in recovery have learned to do this and do it regularly.
The key to being able to share your stuff is to find safe people that you can share with.
FIND THOSE SAFE PEOPLE
Think about it, am I going to share my deepest secrets with someone I don’t trust and see as safe? Forget about it!
If I’m going to share with someone, I have to know that they are:
1. Going to listen
2. Going to be supportive
3. Going to help me
4. Not going to go out and gossip to everyone about my junk
You may not have any safe people in your life right now, but you HAVE TO GO FIND THEM. Perhaps a best friend, a pastor, a priest or a mentor would be helpful.
I’m a big fan of paying someone to be safe. Just teasing! But a counselor is a great place to start sharing your junk. Counselors have heard everything. They sit with people like us each week. And so many people have struggles with sexual issues. Counselors are bound by confidentiality and will be a good first step for you.
I’m also a big fan of support groups. If you can find a sexual support group in your area, you are golden! SAA & SA. Some churches even have men’s purity groups
www.bebroken.com – Be Broken Ministries. Great content from them. Click the box right on the front page to find a support group and to find a counselor.
http://www.celebraterecovery.com/ – Great Christian programs in churches all over the country
www.faithfulandtrueministries.com – Dr. Mark Laaser & his wife Debra; my favorite material so far
www.purelifeministries.org – Also a great resource. Live-in programs and counseling available.
www.sexaddict.com – Dr. Doug Weiss; tremendous Christian material on addiction; phone groups
http://www.sexhelp.com – Dr. Patrick Carnes’ site; the founder of the field of sex addiction.
Jeff & Marsha
Marsha and I want to make ourselves available by email. We are not counselors but we will read and respond to your emails. Especially for those of you who have never shared before. Maybe we can be a starting place for you to share. We don’t share emails with anyone, and you can write us anonymously if you want. firstname.lastname@example.org
AN ATMOSPHERE OF CONFESSION
You have to start cultivating an atmosphere of confession in your recovery process. If you have pockets of safe people around, you will get into a habit of sharing and confessing regularly.
Confession is not just sharing what you’ve done wrong. It’s sharing your struggles and the intent of your heart. It’s asking questions of others. It’s telling people how you’re doing and how you’re feeling.
Accountability friends can help you create such an atmosphere. A support group. Open, honest discussions with friends are incredibly helpful.
Since you have learned to cover up, minimize, and hide for so long, you may have to work hard to build a habit of sharing. It doesn’t come easy. But when you break the ice and share for the first time, it’s an incredibly freeing thing.
That’s why when sex addicts get found out, they are relieved. Many of them wanted to tell someone, but didn’t feel safe or know how. Some addicts even start leaving clues and making mistakes on purpose so they can get found out. This is their desire to be known.
God has placed this desire in us. We are not meant to be detached isolated people. God has engineered us to be connected to others.
You might just have to believe me by faith, but being connected with other people is 10x more satisfying as being alone. Deep down, so many of us are alone, longing for connection and acceptance, but we feel like our sexual behaviors prevent that. That’s a lie. You can find safe people. You can be known. And you can work on confessing your stuff.
THE BEST ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE
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Background – Andy McKee “I’ll Be Over You”
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