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.
Confession is a difficult thing because it requires humility and trust. We must humble ourselves before God and other people. It is not always easy to say that we are wrong or have committed a sin. Confession is on the road to healing and wholeness. Confessing to other people shows that we are all on the same journey. Confession also requires trust. We have to trust that people will not judge us but accept us and help us heal. This will require vulnerability on our part and grace on the part of other people. What makes this type of confession so difficult? Pride. Pride in the one who has done wrong and pride in those who hear the confession. The one who confesses may be afraid to confess because they do not want to appear to be weak or sinful, especially in a church setting. Those who hear the confession may be prideful because they feel superior. There is something in fallen human nature that likes to put down others because we think it will help us look better. James says that the prayers of a righteous person are power and effective. There is great power in a loving community that accepts people just as they are with the goal of helping them to grow. When I look at churches that are growing fast, the majority of them accept people just as they are. They do not need to dress up. They do not need to act in a certain way. They do not even need to act in a certain way. They can go and find love and acceptance. God is the one who will bring forgiveness, healing, and transformation. This is something that is missing in many churches where rigidity and legalism keep healing from taking place. We must become people of love, forgiveness, acceptance and grace.
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