My church back home is going through an incredible sermon series right now on the importance of confession in a Christian's life. According to 1 John 1:9, when we confess our sins to the Lord, we receive His forgiveness. But according to James 5:16, when we confess to each other and pray for one another, we receive healing.
Sadly, we've become a culture, especially within the church, where we believe, in Matt's words, that "it's not ok to not be ok." We want to keep our struggles to ourselves, hidden away from others, and often believe that we are the only one dealing with ....... (you can fill in the blank) and that people would shun us if they knew we were struggling with that issue.
The sermons from the past two weeks have wrecked me out. I can honestly say that my pride and insecurities keep me from being vulnerable with people about the things I am struggling with. And trust me, there's a lot. It's just that for whatever reason, we have this "best face forward" idea, where we only want others to see the good things about us. But honestly, how realistic is that??
The fact is, every single one of us is struggling with things, and probably every single one of us is wondering what in the world others would think if they knew we were struggling with those things. Can you imagine the freedom that would come with all of us taking James 5:16 to heart and humbly confessing to each other the sins we are dealing with while praying for each other, encouraging each other, and holding each other accountable?
I am hoping and praying that the truth of this scripture will become reality in our lives and we will begin to get real with one another, taking off our many masks. If we can do that, not only can we experience the healing referred to in James, but we can also destroy the hypocrisy that the world so often complains about when looking at the church, people projecting perfection while hiding a closet-full of hidden sins and struggles. Let's open those closets up and shed light on those things we are so afraid to let others see, knowing only in the light can we find the healing and freedom we so desperately want.
(Please find some time to go here and listen to the "And You will be Healed" sermon series. Also, read what some others are saying: Emily, Becca, Adrianne)