Every one of us makes mistakes, it is a fact. Except for Christ, none of us on this earth are perfect beings. Nevertheless, what we do when we make mistakes is more important than trying to be perfect. We are not perfect. We are not to think of ourselves as perfect (Romans 12:3a). Thinking that we will be mistake-free can lead us to keeping secrets and not asking for help when we are struggling or when we do make a mistake. We need to come to the understanding that this Step clearly states "when we were wrong" not "if we were wrong". We will make mistakes in life, sometimes small, sometimes huge. It is how we handle these mistakes and confess them that will define our recovery path.
If we don’t admit when we are wrong and make amends, the guilt will eat at us at a much deeper level that will eventually cause us enough guilt to want to medicate the subconscious feelings. .. Even the smallest wrongs we have done to ourselves or others can disturb our serenity. It is important that we admit our wrongs as soon as possible . We are to settle our matters quickly with those we have offended so that we don’t get into a worse situation (Matthew 5:25). The longer we wait to settle these matters, the more the guilt and shame can overcome us. .. not admitting when we messed up will harm our honest character. When our honest character is harmed, we will feel the guilt rising up from within.
It is imperative that we not allow our wrongs to brew in a stew of our character defects as it will become a powerful weapon against our abstinence from our sexual sin. The longer we wait to admit our wrongs, the more powerful the weapon becomes and the more devastating the results of our wanting to medicate these feelings.
Once we admit we were wrong, we make sure not to castigate ourselves for our wrongs. We remember, as followers of Christ, the old is gone and we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our sins have already been forgiven by God so the ultimate punishment of separation from God cannot be inflicted on us. Therefore, there is no need for us to punish ourselves severely for having made a mistake. This is not a Step for self-loathing. We remain gentle with ourselves, using positive internal dialogue. For far too long we have spoken to ourselves negatively, especially after having made a mistake. We used negative internal dialogue like “I’m an idiot” or “I’m so stupid” for having made mistakes. Some have even used abusive, profane language toward ourselves after having made a mistake. Using profane language with ourselves, or others, is abusive and should not come out of our mouths (Ephesians 4:29). It’s time to be gentler with ourselves when we make mistakes. After all, if one of our loved ones made a mistake, would we respond with the same language toward them?
This self-love and understanding comes from the recognition that everyone makes mistakes, but thankfully, in recovery, we are healthy enough to admit them. Many people will continue through life not being able to admit they have wronged another or admit having made a mistake. We show pity to these people because they are trapped in a prison of false perfectionism. For us, however, we come to realize that our healthy selves do not need to be perfect to be a good, lovable person. We are not perfect. We are a work in process and we will make mistakes. However, He who began the transformation in us will bring it to completion when the time comes for us to meet Jesus Christ face-to-face (Philippians 1:6).
Excerpts from the book, “Castimonia.” You can get the book here: Castimonia Sexual Purity Recovery Book