Three Taverns Church

The Exact Nature of My Wrongs


Step 5 of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

I was reading about Step 5 a few days ago and at first it sounds like a repeat of the Step 1 process I have already completed: I already read a list of my wrongdoings to not just one person, but to a group of men. But the more I think about it I see that reading my Step 1 was really just scratching the surface of the hurt I have caused. I have come to learn there is a lot more in me that is ‘broken’ than just acting out. I am selfish, prideful, fearful, weak of faith, self-centered, angry, childish, confused, scared and lonely.

It’s one thing to admit I am a pornography addict, but I can twist that admission around to make it seem as though I am a victim: Certain things happened to me when I was growing up and now I have this problem. The inference: It’s not my fault. But it is my fault because I have been unconsciously choosing to be selfish, prideful, fearful, weak of faith, self-centered, angry, childish, confused, scared and lonely most of my life. If I do not admit those things to myself and another person I will never be free of them because I will never really know and acknowledge their presence in my life. It hurts to think of myself in these ways, to use these words to describe myself. But by acknowledging I behaved a certain way unconsciously in the past, I can begin today to consciously change my behavior.

What is one thing that is true of your behavior or character, but is difficult to admit?

5 thoughts on “The Exact Nature of My Wrongs

  1. One thing that about my character is that I quit. I get going on something and then shortly after, I just stop. I stop, even though something it is working better than before because of my efforts, but I stop anyway. It’s like I am more comfortable in my old ways and they are working “just fine.” I am reluctant to take it to the next level to make something great. It’s like I get a taste of what “great” looks like while I am working on trying harder, and then I realize that it takes more work, and then I quit and go back to “just fine.” One thing that I didn’t quit, my college education.

    • I can totally relate. Sometimes I look at how I’ve stopped doing something that was working, and I’m flabbergasted. I’m like, why did you quit?!?!? It was working!! I think often times it’s because I expected a greater “return on investment” in the form of improving my relationship with my wife. Because I didn’t get that “instant gratification”, I quit, when if I had just hung in there and shown some long-term consistency, I would’ve received that ROI and SOOO much more.

      • first of all, as a finance analyst, I LOVE your use of “ROI” in a post about Step 4! I hear what you are saying…the intstant gratification-thing is a big problem. It took me months and years to foul things up, I don’t know why I thought they’d get fixed overnight. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I think the thing that is hardest to admit about my character is that, like you, I’m having to learn how to be a grown-up in my mid-30s. And that also includes discovering and/or defining who I REALLY am. What are my core beliefs? Does my behavior line up with those core beliefs? If not, why not? This is a result of allowing outside relationships and organizations define me as a person (either because I was too lazy to put the energy into it or too cowardly to stand up for myself), when all along I should’ve been striving to find my identity, value, validation, and acceptance in Jesus Christ. Now I’ve got adult responsibilities that depend on me having already had this stuff figured out, and I’ve got relationships that are suffering because I have not invested enough in myself in the past to know who I am. So this simply amps up the urgency of getting myself figured out.

    • yeah…it’s time for me to put my ‘big boy’ pants on. As part of this recovery process I’m really begining to ‘see’ in a new way, and it’s both frightening and exciting. Keep moving forward; it’s all about progress, not perfection.

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