We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
When we're grappling with addictions in our family, we are likely to draw away from people and from honest communication about our problems. Step Five is the place where we can return to the relationships that will help us face the truth. Paul spoke of the value of honesty, saying, "So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body" (Ephesians 4:25).
Jesus even laid out specific instructions for dealing with people who have done wrong but are persisting in denial. He said, "If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won't accept the church's decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector" (Matthew 18:15-17).
Accountability and honesty in our relationships are essential to successful recovery. When we make ourselves accountable to others, the caring influence of the group can help to keep us on the right track. They can provide us with an objective perspective, helping us to admit the truth. We often find ourselves isolated as a result of our shame or our fear that we will be rejected if we ever reveal who we really are. Admitting our wrongs to a trustworthy person always helps to break down the isolation.
Lies destroy our relationships; the truth restores them.