3 Steps to Transparency in RecoveryHave you been attending a recovery group for some time but haven’t made any progress in overcoming addiction, unhealthy habits, or painful struggles? Then, perhaps you need to be more transparent.

The Webster’s Dictionary defines transparent as: “free from pretense or deceit; easily detected or seen through; readily understood; characterized by visibility or accessibility of information.”

Want to be transparent in your recovery? There are three steps you must take.

Step 1: Come out of hiding.
The first step to transparency in recovery is to come out of hiding. It all started with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Eve gave Adam the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat, and he ate it. Instead of being transparent, Adam put on fig leaves and hid from God. God asked, “Where are you?” Then Adam replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked” (Genesis 3:10, NLT).

Just as Adam broke his intimacy and transparency with his Creator by hiding, you’ve broken your intimate relationship with God and others by trying to hide. Come out of hiding! When you stop hiding, your relationship with God and others will improve.

Step 2: Practice honesty with everyone.
The second step to transparency in recovery is to be honest. Learning to be open, candid, and vulnerable with others isn’t easy. You were probably taught as a young child that you don’t show your emotions or “your cards.” If you were playing a poker game, you’d hide your playing cards and try to project a false or deceptive front. But real life is not a poker game! If you want to heal, you’ll need to begin to reveal your genuine emotions, struggles, and hurts.

Start by being honest with God and others. God already knows your sin. So, confess to Him about the things you’ve done. Next, if you’re married, you must be honest with your spouse. Hopefully, you’ve already disclosed your struggles to them. But if you’ve had a relapse and fallen back into an addiction, be honest with your spouse about your current struggles. If you’re single and not currently married, confess your sins to someone you trust.

Confessing your sin is a vital step to healing. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

Step 3: Be accountable to others in your community.
Finally, the third step to transparency in recovery is being accountable to others in your community. If you want to win the war over temptation, you’ll need to do more than just attend a Life Recovery Group; you’ll want to stay accountable to others in your community by finding an accountability partner or sponsor. Connect with a counselor in the New Life Counseling Network if you cannot find anyone who is safe.

Your accountability partner or counselor must be able to confront you with any shortcomings they see in you. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

Decide a time and place to meet weekly with your accountability partner or counselor. Then, add a reminder to your smartphone. Treat this meeting as you would any critical appointment—don’t miss it unless it’s a life-or-death emergency!

If you’re trying to overcome addiction but haven’t made any progress, come out of hiding, practice honesty with everyone, and be accountable to others in your community. When you start living a transparent life, it will make all the difference in your recovery.

by Kimberlee Bousman