This is the fifth podcast in a nine part series entitled “Overcoming Addiction.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit

  • The “Overcoming Addiction” seminar is also available in video format.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“The Courage of Honesty in the Pursuit of Sobriety”
CONFESS TO THOSE AFFECTED for harm done and seek to make amends.

“I have not represented God well in your presence. [List] You have been hurt by my un-God-like actions, attitudes, and beliefs. [List] My goal in life is to make God’s character of love known. That starts with this request for forgiveness. I value our relationship more than my pride. I am currently working on submitting my life to God’s control and understand if you need time to consider my request for forgiveness.”

Memorize: I John 1:6-10 (ESV), “If we say, we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points.

  • “If we say” – Part of your confession needs to acknowledge that verses six and eight were true of you.
  • “Walk in darkness” – It is important not to see your addiction as “the good life,” but as destructive.
  • “Walk in the light” – True confession is a lifestyle and not an event; not something we can just “get it over with.”
  • “Deceive ourselves” – Begin to see how you deceived yourself as the first step in being dishonest with others.
  • “Make [God] a liar” – When we refuse to acknowledge the wrongness of our addiction we call God a liar.

Teaching Notes

“Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of the sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation. Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light… It is a hard struggle until sin is openly admitted. But God breaks gates of brass and bars of iron (Psalm 107:16). Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of a Christian brother, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned (p. 112).” Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together

“Solitary drinking or use becomes the tragically ironic pinnacle of major addiction (p. 120).” Kent Dunnington in Addiction and Virtue: Beyond the Models of Disease and Choice

“Our secrets have isolated us from each other long enough! They have prevented intimacy in all our relationships (p. 137)… In five words, here’s the secret to making successful amends: Do not expect anything back! You are making amends, not for a reward, but for freedom (p. 162).” John Baker in Celebrate Recovery: Leader’s Guide

“A rule of thumb: when in doubt, it is wiser to err on the side of speaking more openly (p. 33).” Ed Welch in Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction

“If the temptation hooks our desires, we go public (p. 240).” Ed Welch in Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

“An environment that supports the change can be a wonderful asset to the individuals struggling to maintain a change of an addictive behavior. Understanding employers, reinforcing and supportive spouses, inspiring sponsors, caring family, and accepting peers help the person leave the past behind and create a new and alternative life pattern. These reinforcing effects support and consolidate the change. Unfortunately, the damage done during the time of engaging in the addictive behavior and a prior pattern of relapsing and recycling may have compromised the supportive environment available to most Maintainers (p. 199).” Carlo DiClemente in Addictions and Change

Other podcasts in the G4-addiction series are available at:


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