Healing through Confession

James 5:16-18

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Most of us resist the thought of admitting our wrongs to another person. We may think, Isn't it enough to admit my faults to myself and to God? Why should I humiliate myself before another person who is no better than I am?

It seems that there is healing power in the act of telling another person. James wrote, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results" (James 5:16). The apostle Paul also commented on this: "Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself " (Galatians 6:2-3).

We may laugh at the thought of finding a "righteous person" to confide in. We needn't worry; the word James uses doesn't mean self-righteous. He is referring to someone who is right in fulfilling duties both with God and man. This kind of person will be just and without prejudice, already made right with God through personal confession. Someone with this kind of righteousness won't be prejudiced against us.

When we find someone who has already dealt honestly with his struggle, our burden can be made lighter by sharing our own. Our confessor will also be able to pray for us in an understanding way. Such prayer can really make a positive impact on our recovery.

Confessing our faults opens up our lives to God's healing power.


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Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.