“But if we keep living in the pure light that surrounds him, we share unbroken fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, continually cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7 TPT

Recently, I was reminded of the power of this specific verse in 1 John. There’s a massive “If…Then” statement here that is especially significant for those walking in recovery too.

God’s promises are powerful and this is one of those mighty promises! For this particular promise, I think it’s helpful to look at it in reverse:

The blood of Jesus, [God’s son], continually cleanses us from all sin. And we will share UNBROKEN fellowship with one another.

How does this happen? By reading this passage in reverse, we see the “then” really hinges on the “if”: If we keep living in the pure light that surrounds him.

Where does freedom actually begin? It begins with honesty.

Honesty will always precede freedom. Openness occurs before healing. Transparency happens before restoration. Why must it be this way?

Because God cannot give us true freedom, healing, and restoration in our lives until we’re ready to live in such a way where everything is exposed to the light. Where nothing is hidden. Where no secrets exist.

I love how the Passion translation uses the word “unbroken” before the word fellowship. If we commit to a lifestyle of complete honesty, people can see through us and our relationship with God and others will be authentic…unbroken.

We cannot expect from God and yet be unwilling to give. To surrender. To give up. To open up. To be real. To walk in truth. Which is walking in His light.

Brian Simmons says in The Passion Translation: “Freedom from sin (which is mentioned seventeen times in 1 John) is equated to walking in the pure light of God — not simply a fleshly struggle but a desire to walk in fellowship with God in his light.”

Please understand that honesty doesn’t equate to perfection. It equates to freedom. It equates to healing. A person who finally puts a steak in the ground and chooses to finally be honest about his or her struggles is someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to get free.

For me, I was ready to be honest when I realized my addiction was not only destroying my life but also destroying someone else’s life: the woman I would go on to marry.

To see the depth of pain I had caused her, the tears streaming down her eyes, and the wreckage all of my lies had caused was quite literally an eye-opener for me.

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that honesty is an inside job. Such words couldn’t be more true. It has to start from within by making healthy choices that will benefit you in the long run, not the choices that give you instant gratification.

When you’re able to get a vision and glimpse of the kind of person God is calling you to be — a person of wholeness, character, integrity, & honesty — then and only then is freedom possible for your life. No one else can get you there. YOU must choose honesty.

I’m thankful today that living a life of honesty means just as much to me as it did 13 years ago. Being open and transparent with my wife is something I crave, something I yearn for, not something I feel is a chore or a burden.

Living honestly IS living in the pure light that this Scripture speaks of.

So just to summarize, our choice to live honestly has two incredible benefits:

We will be able to intimately know and be fully known by our family and friends. (“We share unbroken fellowship with each other.”)

We will know the incredible love of a Heavenly Father who chose never to hide anything from us. (“the blood of Jesus, his Son, continually cleanses us from all sin.)

May our commitment this week be that God’s pure light shines on EVERYTHING within our lives, producing within us a desire to know and be known by our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It really is the only way to live.

If you have questions about honesty or anything else we touch on here, please go to Office Hours and ask those questions!