I had the opportunity to speak at Cross Point on Sunday. We continued our series, Empty Promises, based on . It has been a powerful series for our church, and for me personally. I talked about how easy it is to be addicted to our appearance.
Each week, we broadcast the message at our Internet Campus, and then following the message there is a live Q&A. Chris Surratt, the Internet Campus Pastor and I were talking during the Q&A, and in our conversation I quoted the scripture James 5:16:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Chris said something in that moment that was brilliant. He said, “The confession James is talking about isn’t for forgiveness. It is God that forgives. It is for healing; healing that comes through confessing our sins to one another.” I had never thought about it that way.
Most of us have the “forgiveness” type of confession down. We know that in order to get forgiveness from God we have to confess our sins. Maybe you grew up confessing to a priest; maybe it is something that you do in your quiet time with God; maybe it is something that you do after you’ve made a huge mistake. Most of us know that forgiveness from God comes through confession.
We don’t talk about the “healing” type of confession in the Church very often. In fact, we have built a religious system that tries to find healing through hiding our sins, not confessing them. The sins we do confess are safe sins: bitterness, jealousy, materialism, selfishness.
I was the master at this. I appeared “authentic” for confessing socially acceptable sins while I lived as a prisoner to sins I wasn’t willing to confess. For years, I forfeited the healing that God longed to bring to my heart not because I didn’t confess my sins to Him; but because I refused to confess them to anyone else.
Temptation loses its power when we confess.
Sin loses its ability to keep us fractured when we confess.
Addictions lose the control they have in our lives when we confess.
God knew that we would need two things to live in freedom in this life: the burden-bearing love of one another and the power of God through prayer. Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other…so that you may be healed.
Will living this way be easy? No. Will it be worth it? More than you could ever imagine.