“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” (James 5:16 MSG)
Jesus came to save us from our sins. The last thing he wants is for us to hide them in the shadows. When we do that, we waste the grace he’s paid so dearly to provide.
Our love for one another should create a safe place, where “we refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG).
Because of Jesus, we are free to be who God created us to be, and we are free to be ourselves in fellowship with one another. This freedom is what helps us help one another to grow into the fullness of Christ. When we refuse to be ourselves or when we refuse to allow others to be themselves — faults and all — we take God’s freedom from each other.
The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer says that God wants nothing to do with pious posing: “[God] wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to go on lying to yourself and [others], as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that; He loves the sinner but He hates sin.”
Talk About It
What do you think the apostle James means when he says, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed” (James 5:16a TEV)?
James also says confession should be our common practice. What would a small group that had confession as a common practice look like?
Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, is a story of God’s faithfulness during struggles with bipolar disorder, divorce, and economic uncertainty.
This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.