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)
There is a growing trend within the Church today, which is, to deal with our sin in the convenience of our own mind and body. We have to understand that this was never the plan. God created and called the many membered Body of Christ so that out of the overflow of our relationship with Him we might be useful, even necessary, to one another. This verse in James 5 tells the way in which we receive healing for our sins. We should first confess our sins and then pray for one another in accordance with confession and repentance. Most Christians would not deny the strong importance of confession but it is equally important to confess fully. What I mean is that I find within myself two desires when confessing sin, especially when it is something that has been a real weight on me. The first is a feeling of remorse, I want someone to know what I did and that I am sorry. The second is something entirely different. It is a desire to hold back a portion of the truth. I find that I, and many other Christians, want to release enough pressure to help us feel better but not enough to show the world the real monster that is within. Here in lies the problem. When we confess some of the sin we commit or produce a mere degree of the depth of our depravity to others it has a reverse effect on the person in confession. For the individual the point is to receive healing and begin a walk of repentance. This starts by understanding God’s love for oneself and coming back to the revelation of His mercy and grace. When someone reveals just a part of their sin and then his or her brothers and sisters in Christ come to love, encourage, and pray for them they will likely not receive the healing God desires for them. This is because the age old lie that the enemy has tried to deceive Christians with, that “if they really knew me they wouldn’t accept and love me” remains intact. The real healing comes when Christians, broken by the deceitfulness of their actions, open wide their hearts and bear the intimate intricacies of their sin. When they rip the veil of shame off of what they believe to be the most hideous face imaginable, the acceptance and affirmation they receive is not to a lesser form of themselves, but to the sinner in whole, just as Christ chose to pay for that sinner’s debt in whole. So long as our sin is kept hidden away in secret the enemy can play the strings of our insecurity. We must remember that he has no authority in the light, which is the only place our sin is useful, for there it can be overcome.