Most Recovery programs incorporate Share Time as a way to allow participants to release, or let go, of the power their secret (and some times not so secret) hurts, habits or hang ups have over them. By speaking them aloud in front of others in the safety of the anonymous confidential Share Time environment it takes away and frees us from some of the burden these secrets have over us. The Bible tells us to confess our sins to each other, and pray for each other so that we may be “healed” (James 5:16 NLT). There is something powerful about the weight that is lifted off oneself when you’ve confessed something that you’ve kept secret, either for reasons of guilt, shame or fear, or all of the above.
These Share Time sessions are an incredibly important part of the process of restoration and recovery as they allow us to not only release the power these secrets have over our lives but they also help us to realize the connection we all share as sinners. The lies of the enemy tells us we are the only ones struggling but the truth is we all share struggles and the bondage of addiction has much in common with the burden of bitterness and anger. It may not seem like it at first but once you start hearing the stories you will realize that sin is sin, hurt and pain are common to all mankind and we are all on the same journey, just different stages.
The typical session will involve a review of guidelines so everyone understands that Share Time is meant for sharing and not for conversations. Communication is one way and although we sometimes will speak a word of encouragement to another, we are not going to judge each other or try to fix each other. That is for God to do through the power of His Holy Spirit who works in these moments to open our hearts and minds to the grace and mercy that God has for each of us.
I’ve witnessed strong men break down to tears after hearing someone else share their heartfelt sincere feelings and deepest struggles. God has used those moments to bring Glory to His name when a brother shares of his victory over temptation as well as moments of sad confession of failures. If we step back and allow the Holy Spirit to take control we will see amazing growth through these moments.
It’s important to understand the value of these Share Time sessions taking place after a teaching lesson. The teaching lesson helps us to focus our thoughts on the principles and steps that a Biblical recovery program will follow. These lessons equip us with the tools that help us to use Biblical principles, fellowship of believers and a structured format of steps that will lead us to restoration and recovery.
I’m nearly all 12 step programs they will stress the “one day, one step at a time approach and God’s word is no different, it is a “Lamp upon of feet” and not a spot light down the trail. We learn to trust God and give Him control over our lives I the early lessons and progress forward through the well established program.
If you’ve never been to one of these programs I would encourage you to visit one today. You’ll be surprise how much you can learn about yourself and your fellow man.