True relationship with God is rooted in honesty. Honesty with ourselves, with others, and with God. We may recognize that we are engaging in the behavior of our addiction, but are we honest with the consequences of our actions and the division it is creating in our lives? We can approach honesty in different stages based on where we are in our recovery journey. We find honesty in every part of the Twelve Steps of recovery, and they are essential in order to fully participate in the grace of the sacraments we receive.
God’s power and understanding of us has no limit. Most of us can probably identify with moments in our lives where we tried hiding in the darkness from the God that never stopped pursuing us! The relief from an honest moment can offer spiritual energy to take action and surrender the situation to God. We admit we are powerless over our addiction, take a thorough moral inventory of ourselves, seek willingness to honestly tackle character defects, get honest with others we’ve harmed, and share honestly with those we may be able to help as a result.
This way of life takes time, but it also takes support and someone you feel comfortable being honest with. We hope you can find that in a local group, your parish, our online community, and other recovery meetings. Finding another person who has a foundation in recovery for a similar addiction is a crucial part of our spiritual journey, and they should set a tone of honesty in your conversations. Also, initiating honest conversation about what is really going on in your life creates an atmosphere of trust and deep personal connection. Give it a try sometime when it is prudent to do so.
Pay attention to the way people reveal the light in their lives with you over the next few days. As you read Matthew’s Gospel, reflect on what Christ is calling you to be honest about:
Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
Whatever you are hiding in the darkness, bring into the light. Begin by taking a chance to reveal yourself to another individual and see what happens. Remain open, remain honest, and remain in Him. There is too much at stake to keep hidden what God already knows. You do not have to wait for the pain of your behavior to to become unbearable before making a change. When given the opportunity, be the person that another can trust to share what they’re going through. In weakness there is unity, and in unity, victory. Freedom comes as shame is deflated.
Reflection Question: How is God asking you to shine some light on the truth of your life today? This may include coming to terms with the truth yourself rather than relying on the emotional walls put up to shield from shame and the hard truth. It may also mean engaging the fifth step (admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs) and sharing in an honest way.
Quick Teaching: What is a Sacrament?