Part 4 of the ADHD and Spiritual Disciplines Series: Confession
Confession: “Self-examination is a process whereby the Holy Spirit opens my heart to what is true about me. This is not the same thing as a neurotic shame-inducing inventory. Instead it is a way of opening myself to God within the safety of his love so I can authentically seek transformation. Confession embraces Christ’s gift of forgiveness and restoration while setting us on the path to renewal and change.” Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
It seems as if our culture has shifted towards a society of people who avoid acknowledging personal wrongs, or when they do, they justify their actions with self-esteem boosting excuses. There isn’t a human being on this earth who isn’t perfect; and knowing this should hopefully make it easier for us to admit what we have done wrong.
As Christians, God doesn’t embrace our excuses for why we have sinned, but we can have peace knowing that we are not doomed. He doesn’t accept our excuses because He is a loving God and He wants us to approach Him with integrity, honesty, and a heart of repentance. The results of approaching God with honesty is a clear conscience, a deeper relationship with Him, and the transforming wisdom that will come from God’s response to our confession.
Having ADHD means that we will often unintentionally commit wrongs against others on a regular basis; it is the negative results of having challenges with executive functioning, irregular moods, anxiety, and the increased stressed of having attention deficit. God knows the true circumstances and reasons behind the thoughts and behaviours of each person; He knows how ADHD effects individuals and can easily lead to a variety of wrongdoing. ADHD isn’t an excuse for sinning, but it certainly helps to explain why certain habits prove to be more difficult to overcome.
Confession helps those with attention deficit deal with the aftermath of wrongdoing. It allows us to be honest with God and others about what we have done and seek ways of making changes in our self. The act of confession won’t eliminate ADHD, but it can certainly help believers manage their symptoms.
True confession helps lift the shame that those with ADHD unnecessarily burden themselves with. Confession doesn’t bring shame, because God does not shame us, instead He embraces us and reminds us that we are forgiven. He blesses us with his Holy Spirit who empowers us to continue moving forward in the life long process of spiritual transformation.
If you are looking for additional resources to help you with this specific spiritual discipline, the following is a link to a Catholic resource on confession. Even if you are not Roman Catholic, there are some great prompts listed for self-examination for you to consider. http://www.netusa.org/guidetoconfession/