“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.” James 5:16 NIV
I don’t know about you, but this kind of verse and idea would have sent me running for the hills, back in the days of my youth! In fact, running from confession was probably one of the many things that, in the early days of my marriage, made it very messy.
Here’s how it typically went down . . .
My husband would say or do something that I didn’t like, and I would feel anger bubbling up within my heart. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to acknowledge this to him, or anyone for that matter, including to myself.
However, my husband always knew, and often tried to coax some kind of confession out of me, only to be greeted by my “I’m fine” resistance and icy veneer.
Thankfully, God did not allow me to retreat to that frosty cave of denial and defensiveness for too terribly long. Scriptures like this one and so many others kept convicting me of my sinful tendency to hide my sin. God also used the continual example of my husband’s honesty and transparency in our marriage to remind me of this better, Christ-honoring and healing path.
Healing Turning Point
God wanted so much more for me in my life and marriage than to pretend that everything was fine when it most definitely was not. Living that way only kept me imprisoned and chained to a self-protective façade, rooted in my sin nature.
You know … the one that Christ set me free from when He saved my soul!
3 Ways To Confess Your Sins To One Another
So how exactly does confession bring healing?
The first way to confess your sins to one another is to remove all the hiding, posturing and denial that keep us from owning our sins. It humbles our hearts so that God can reign and rule in our lives, instead of keeping our egos front and center.
The second way God uses confession to heal is through the prayers we lift up for each other. After all, how can we pray for each other, if we never know what to exactly pray for? God works through our humble and honest disclosures to open our hearts like a heart surgeon’s clamp holds the chambers of the heart open so that repairs can be made.
The third way to confess our sins to one another, and bring healing, is by seeking out and making ourselves accountable to other humble and righteous Christ-followers. They can also faithfully pray for us. Honestly, this third one applies to every godly friend we confess our sins to, since every true believer has been made righteous through Christ’s blood.
So don’t feel as if you need to find someone who seems as godly and devout as Billy Graham or Mother Theresa to confess your sins. The field is wide open!
And this “field” is exactly where I began to find healing—through accountability to others.
At first, it was a bit too scary for me to confess my sins to my husband. So, instead, I began to open up little by little with my godly girlfriends in my small group and church.
From there, it took no time at all before I was able to humbly confess my sins with my husband—bringing healing not just to my heart, but to my marriage as well.
Best of all, you can find this healing for your own life, by simply following the instructions packed inside this powerful verse! I hope you’ll join me in running toward healing, instead of away from it, by confessing our sins to one another!
How often do you run toward this confessional path of healing in your life and relationships?