Proverbs 28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 20:23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.
Acts 3:19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
Colossians 1:9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
In James 5:16 the Greek word translated as confess is exomologeó.
It means to fully agree and to acknowledge that agreement openly (wholeheartedly); hence, to confess (“openly declare”), without reservation (no holding back). It is the same word that is used in Matthew 3:6 (Speaking of John the Baptist) And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
James is a book full of wisdom and practical teaching which directs us to prayer in all circumstances. James calls Christians to demonstrate their faith in their lifestyles. In James 5:16 we are called to pray for each other united as repentant sinners. Prayer keeps us sensitive to one another and keeps us connected with the power source : God. Colossians 1:9 gives us a clue about what to pray … “asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”.
This one another is about being honest and real with each other, about bringing into the light what is hidden, and allowing our brothers and sisters to walk alongside us in our sin. It is related to accept one another in the sense that in an environment of security and acceptance we can start to be vulnerable, live wholeheartedly and lower our masks.
Thoughts from valiant man – The Arena of Healing by Dr A Meyer
Humility (the poor in spirit) – ” I recognize that I have deficiencies within myself that I am incapable of rectifying in my own strength. I need help – both yours and God’s.”
Perhaps the greatest enemy of all to healthy change is that of DENIAL. “I have no need, I’m doing OK, she’ll be right mate, no problems, no worries, no big deal, what’s the problem?”
Denial comes from a fear of acknowledging the truth. Denial doesn’t want to notice a problem, the seriousness of the situation, or the stark unpleasant reality. Denial hopes that no one will notice, that the issue will go away; if I don’t look maybe it won’t be there. The attitude of humility, however, confronts the denial in our life. It is a mark of God’s grace when denial is pierced and humility begins its precious work….
Emotional honesty (those who mourn) – ” I will no longer deny, ignore or repress my emotional pain. I will weep my tears, groan my groans, cry my cries, grieve my grief. My emotions are indicators of my heart’s condition and I will admit to them freely.”
The importance of Confession
Humility and emotional honesty add up to a very powerful behaviour – confession. There is amazing power in telling the truth to another human being with a view to finding both forgiveness and healing change.
Jesus gave an amazing authority to His followers, the power to play a part in the ministry of forgiveness. Martin Luther called this ‘The Office of the Keys’. It is based on Jesus’ words to His disciples in John 20:23: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven…” It is a privilege given by Jesus to His followers to hear honest confession and pray prayers of release and forgiveness.
The Opposite of Confess your sins to one another and Pray for one another.
- Appearance management. Keeping on a mask. Hiding your struggles.
- Self confidence. Leaving God out of your life. Chasing other stuff
- Numbing our feelings. Armouring up so we don’t feel anything. Uncaring.
- Apathy and pride.
- Shame and anxiety. Worrying about what people think and what might happen.
- Denial. Keeping your secrets secret.
The Counterfeit of Confess your sins to one another and Pray for one another.
- Selective surface level relationships, shallow sharing.
- Over-sharing, inappropriate sharing
- Wallowing in your own sin, not truly accepting God’s forgiveness, not forgiving yourself
- Performance based self worth.