We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
As we work our recovery program, we go through a process of accepting the truth about our lives and the consequences of our choices. We may feel like we have to earn forgiveness instead of just receiving it. We may find it easier to forgive others who have hurt us than to forgive ourselves for the hurt we have caused.
When Jesus confronted the apostle Paul, he gave him this mission: "Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. . . . Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me" (Acts 26:16-18).
God's goal in sending his Word to us is that we may receive forgiveness and a place among his people, like anyone else who turns to him. The process involves first opening our eyes to our true condition, which happens in Steps One, Two, and Four. This allows us the opportunity to repent, changing our minds so that we're in agreement with God and ready to admit our wrongs. God wants us to receive immediate forgiveness, based on the finished work of Christ. We're not second-class citizens in the Kingdom of God. We don't have to work the rest of the Twelve Steps as a form of penance. Forgiveness awaits us right now, if we will only receive it.
We all share equally in God's promise of forgiveness as we confess our wrongs before him.