Which of the following is found in the Bible? A) Therefore confess your sins to the priest and have him pray for you so that you may be healed.
B) Therefore confess your sins to the pastor and have him pray for you so that you may be healed.
C) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
(See James 5:16 for the answer)
“Is it true that God can forgive me? I’ve done so many things wrong. Some really BIG things! I don’t think he can forgive the kinds of things I have done.”
The young woman who asked me that gasped for air between sobs as she faced up to the sad reality her life had become. She wanted out, and had even thought of taking her own life, but she still had a glimmer of hope that God could forgive her and she could get her life turned around.
It turns out that she was right. There was still hope for her. Like so many other people around the world and throughout history, she discovered that the Bible is true and that the way to find health and wholeness is to admit her shortcomings and ask for God’s forgiveness and help. As I told her, Jesus died for that very reason – so that we can be forgiven – so we ought to take him up on it by confessing our sins and asking for His forgiveness and help.
She did just that – she prayed and confessed her need for God’s forgiveness – and by the change in her countenance it was obvious that she had found forgiveness and was on the path to health and wholeness. She was no longer sad and regretful, without hope, but was instead full of hope as she thanked God for His forgiveness and asked Him to help her get her life turned around.
"as hard as it is to swallow our pride and admit that we have made mistakes, that is where the power is."
God changed her life, and He is changing lives all around the world as people confess their shortcomings and call out to Him for forgiveness and help. All it takes is for a person to recognize that he/she has sinned and can be forgiven if they put their faith in Jesus. It’s that simple. Not hard to understand at all and yet we sometimes have a hard time doing it.
So then, as hard as it is to swallow our pride and admit that we have made mistakes, that is where the power is. For by owning our actions and being realistic about who we are as people, we own up to our need for a Savior. We realize that we need God’s forgiveness and help on an ongoing basis, not just once in awhile but all the time. Confessing our need for Him and for His forgiveness just becomes a part of who we are – people who depend upon God and rely on Him to not only forgive us but also to lead us into an abundant and joyful life where we become increasingly healthy and whole in every way just like He is.
Confessing our sins, then, is not the pathway to shame and ridicule. It is exactly the opposite – it is the pathway to forgiveness, health, and wholeness in every way – spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and even physically. Psychiatrists, therapists, doctors, medical studies, and even the Bible all agree that being able to receive forgiveness and extend it to others is one of the keys to good mental health, physical well-being, and spiritual wholeness.
So then, even though it is not popular in many churches today, find a good friend who loves God and confess your sins to each other and pray for each other. And if that friend happens to be a priest or pastor, that’s okay, but keep in mind that the Bible clearly commands us to confess our sins to one another. Anyone who is a friend of yours and a friend of God will do just fine.
Let’s Pray Together: Lord, I confess that I often fall short of who You want me to be and I don’t always do the things You want me to do. I need Your forgiveness and Your help; I need You to be my Savior not just once or even once in awhile, but every day, every hour, every minute. Help me to regularly confess my sins to You, and lead me to the trustworthy person or people with whom I can confess my shortcomings and pray with so that I might find health and wholeness. I pray this also for the following people as you bring them to my mind… (continue praying as you feel led)
Real Life Examples and Testimonies Rethinking Church Part 1 -- In this video former Pastor Luke Bell speaks from his heart about what church really is and how we must do the “one-anothers” such as praying for one another and confessing our sin to one another.