Confess your sins to each other and prayer for each other so that you may be healed (James 5:16)
Confession! It’s good for the soul. And according to James, it’s good for the body, too. He shows a link between the confessing of our sins and the healing of our sickness. A form of prayer, confession is the disclosure of our sins both to God and to our fellow believers.
I’ve heard it said that our secrets make us sick. James uses an interesting word for sickness. In addition to illness, this particular word can mean “weary, fatigued, mentally drained, exhausted.” We see that sin not only separates us from God, it’s also exhausting. Confession of our sins is a first step toward healing.
The word confession in the Greek, exomologeo, comes from ek, or “out,” and homologeo, or “to assent.” It means “to admit or acknowledge,” and conveys the idea of a public admission of one’s faults. I don’t think it matters whether we confess our shortfalls to one or two or ten. The idea is to acknowlege our failure before God and others, taking the stinger out of our soul and opening ourselves to prayer. James reminds us that the prayer of faith is powerful to heal our body and soul.
Do you have someone or several to whom you can freely confess your sins? I encourage you to pause and think about your relationships for a minute. We all need accountability. Without it, we can’t grow as God intended and we sure can’t experience freedom from sin. Following Christ was never meant to be a solo journey.
A courageous young friend recently took James’ admonition seriously. Eager to grow in her faith walk, she emailed a few of her close friends and family:
I am reflecting on areas of growth and want to understand some of my hang ups. You’ve been an integral part of my life and have seen my good, bad, and ugly. Would you speak into my life about anything you see that hinders the future God has called me to? Thanks for helping me in my journey toward holiness.
Might we also be courageous today to not only confess our known sins to each other but to actively seek feedback from those who know and love us in Christ? Through confession, let’s take the stinger out of our soul and open the door to God’s provision of freedom, health, and holiness.
Lord, You know all my secrets…the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of me that no one sees. Give me boldness, Lord, to address the sin in my life head on. Help me to understand the freedom that comes with full disclosure. Give me wisdom about which friends can be trusted and who will pray daring and faith-filled prayers on my behalf. Thank you that you desire healing…body, soul, and Spirit. For by Your wounds, I have been made whole. -Amen