John the Baptist works Step One

In Twelve Step recovery programs (one of which I attend every Friday night), the starting point on the road to greater health is Step One, which goes something like this:

We admitted we were powerless over our dependencies, that our lives had become unmanageable.

In the Bible, before Jesus begins his public teaching, John the Baptist shows up, preaching and baptizing people. He’s beginning to point people toward Jesus. And look what they do, these people taking their first steps toward Jesus:

“People from across the countryside of Judea and from the city of Jerusalem came to [John the Baptist] and confessed that they were deeply flawed and needed help, so he cleansed them with the waters of the Jordan.”  –Mark 1:5 (The Voice)

Maybe, just maybe, if I want to move toward health, if I want to be clean, maybe the starting point looks something like this:

I am powerless over my dependencies.

I am deeply flawed.

I need help.


What do you think? Is the starting point for wholeness really this–an admission of brokenness? And if so…why?

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