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A Study of Step 5

The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs


Updated June 10, 2014

Probably the most difficult of all the steps to take, Step 5 is also the one that provides the greatest opportunity for growth.

    Step 5
    Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

What an order! Admitting wrongs to God and to ourselves is one thing, but to actually tell someone else the exact nature of our wrongs can be a frightening task indeed. After years of "keeping secrets" and hiding faults and shortcomings, openly admitting them -- and out loud to another human being -- this is a drastic turnaround.

But just as the 12 Steps themselves are in a specific order for a reason, the process outlined within Step 5 is likewise. There is a reason that the first admission of wrongs is to God as we understand him. It prepares us for the rest of the step.

No, admitting to God the nature of our wrongs is not informing Him of anything that He doesn't already know. But by having that conversation with a personal higher power in a spirit of prayer, the things that need to be changed are revealed to us! The exact nature of our wrongs have been discovered along with the ways that they need to be changed.

Once we have had the integrity to become honest with God, then becoming honest with ourselves and another human being becomes much easier. Perhaps more than any other step in the process, Step 5 provides the chance to begin "growing up" spiritually and gives us the opportunity to unload the burdens of our past.

Visitors to the bulletin boardhere at the Alcoholism site have offered their insights into working this step, as our study of the 12 Steps continues:

More about Step 5

    Eliminating Pride
    "All the old garbage I had been lugging around for so many years fell away. My conscience was finally clear."

    "What a joy to join the human race again and look them square in the eyes."

    Dealing with Fear
    "I found that fear was not only the exact nature of my wrongs, but it was the sole governing factor of my life from birth to the present."

    "As Step 5 was finished, I truly felt a peace and cleansing."

Index of 12 Steps and Traditions Study

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