ADMIT: The first difficult step in moving forward toward self awareness and ultimately having Christ's inner peace is to ADMIT our powerlessness. Why are we so afraid? What seems to be getting in the way of our freedom to love God and love others as we love and care for ourselves? Remember, this is not just about addiction. This is about any aspect of our lives where deep seated resentments, selfish desires, anger, and secrets reside. If you deal with addict behaviors, these are the expression of these deep seated issues.
Romans 7:18-20 says:
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Paul writes on his personal struggle to do what God desires, thus having peace and tranquility. What often happens is that we tend to give in to what we want. At first this seems to work, but in the end, it does not. So, how do we get to the point where we do ADMIT?
The first realization is that we LOVE DENIAL! It is a FUN place to be (or so we think). Author/Speaker John Maxwell tells a story when he stayed in a hotel in New Zealand. He was thirsty and went searching for a soda pop machine but could not find one. Finally he found a door marked "Staff." He walked in but found no one to help him. Upon returning to the door upon which he entered through, it had a full length mirror. At the top of the mirror it had the words imprinted, "Take a good look at yourself. This is what the customer sees."
Maxwell goes on to say how the significant battles that we deal with are from within. If this is true, then the battle toward true self awareness and understanding begins with admitting that I AM the problem, NOT YOU.
When I entered my first semester of college, I signed up to do a full course load, be in the theater company, include Ancient Greek as one of my courses (required for preparation for seminary studies), and in addition work sixteen hours a week and date my girlfriend who became my wife two years later. After this intense semester of trying to keep up with the Greek vocabulary, act in three roles at once in the fall theater production (yes three; the play had sixty-six speaking roles; we all had to double or triple up), keep working and have my girlfriend shake her head at me, I contracted pneumonia.
For two weeks in January after closing out the first semester, I was out for the count. And, as my wife tells me now 27 years later, I told you it was too much! You want to talk about misery and how I never saw it coming, THAT was an example.
We all seem to think that we can see what is truly inside of ourselves and that we can handle more than what we ever able to. In the end we usher in personal chaos and impart chaos to others around us. What is it that you are not admitting today? What are you striving for and why? What is truly motivating you to succeed? Fame? Money? Self fulfillment? My prayer is that you will do the first step toward peace: ADMIT.
ADMIT that you are powerless to do what needs to be done and invite Jesus Christ to begin the work only He can initiate and sustain. Truth: He will. As you surrender your control over your life issues by ADMITTING to your chaos and current perceived control over your life; ADMIT that you are powerless and begin to watch and see how Jesus takes control of you. In Isaiah 43:18-19, God says, "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I AM DOING A NEW THING. Christ is the new thing and He wants to bring peace into your soul. Is it not time to let go, let God, and have Him do many new things? If you have HIT that proverbial BOTTOM; go ahead, ADMIT! I DARE YOU! Jesus will carry you.
Next: Step 2: BELIEVE
Dr. Mark Vander Meer is the Founder and Executive Director of Community Recovery International, a multi-national organization that is bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through recovery ministry, community development projects and through the training of leaders in radical servant leadership. He holds degrees from Calvin College (B.A.), Trinity International University (M.R.E.) and Bethel University (D. Min). He resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife of 27 years and his 13 year old son.