Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
Well, here’s my confession. I don’t much like this verse. I figure my dirty laundry is nobody’s business but mine. I’m not comfortable with telling other people what an asshole I’ve been. Who knows what they’ll do with that knowledge?
But it’s more than just confessing and making amends with others. It’s about strength in numbers.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
We tell others our problems and sins as they should do with us. This is in order to know how to pray for each other so all may be healed. Recall that righteous Job prayed and made sacrifices for his children and their spouses that their sins might not be held against them. And he wasn’t necessarily aware of what they might have done!
That devotion was ultimately rewarded, because the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!
Another thought: we always look at each other and assume everyone else is so much better put together than we are. Then it comes as a shock when you discover some dirty laundry. But what if we all got it all out in our trusted communities of faith? What if we could share each other’s burdens and know we are all in the same sinful boat?
Confess to each other. Share. It works in group therapy. Surely it works within the Christian community!