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Step 5: Confessed our sins to God and one other person.

Principle: Integrity

Confession is a critical step in our healing process. It represents the releasing or turning over of that which we no longer want to be; or to carry in our hearts and souls. It is the open, verbal expression of the insights gained from our self-examination to the God of our understanding and one other person. The most difficult aspect of this step is the requirement to share with another human being. Our pride often tells us this is unnecessary, but in fact it is critical. It humbles us and from this experience we grow stronger in our own integrity. Once we have released our fears, harms and resentments we experience a sense of lightness and acceptance. The forgiveness we experience is the gift of grace.

Text or Verse

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.
James 5:16


Preparing for Confession:

  1. Identify the right listener: sponsor, prayer partner, minister, spiritual director.
  2. Be prepared to either read your inventory or to identify the insights you have learned from scrutinizing the history of your behaviors.
  3. Plan at least 3 hours plus some alone time afterwards to experience the release and ensuing sense of grace.
  4. Pray before you begin for the courage to be honest, humble and forthright.
  5. And if you forget anything, know that you can revisit this step any time when needed.


Rohr, Richard OFM. How Do We Breathe Underwater? The Gospel and 12-Step Spirituality. Center for Action and Contemplation. (go to the Links menu to connect to the web-site)

Dick B. The Good Book and the Big Book. A.A.'s Roots in the Bible. Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1997

Selby, Saul. Twelve Step Christianity. Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2000

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