"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen.”
James 5:16 NCV
People don’t go to war by themselves. It would be a suicide mission. Someone has to have your back.
You need a battle buddy.
The same is true in the spiritual battles we all face. You can’t go to war against lustful thoughts, dishonesty, addictions, and fear by yourself. You’ll be doomed to fail.
If all you want is to be forgiven, admit your sin and brokenness to God. If you want to make a change, admit it to someone else.
Revealing your sin is the beginning of healing. You don’t have to admit your sin to everyone. But you need to admit it to someone. You need one person who’ll love you unconditionally, accept you completely, and pray for you constantly. You need someone of the same gender to be open and honest with.
The Bible says in James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen” (NCV).
When you confess your sins to someone else, you open the relief valve and take the pressure off. Suddenly, the boogieman isn’t so big.
Often sin is a cycle. You start out humbly asking God for help, so he gives you the power to make it. After about six months of success, you start getting prideful. Then, you fall. And, in humility again, you ask God for help. If you could stay in that spirit of humility, you’d be good. But pride always returns.
You can’t kick that kind of cycle without friends who’ll pray for you, care for you, encourage you, and keep you on track. When success comes, they’ll help you keep your perspective so your humility stays in check.
That’s why local churches are so important. But you can attend many churches for years and never put yourself in a situation where you know others and are known by others. Make the effort to find a small group of believers in a local church with whom you can be open and honest.
To think you can quit a bad habit without being honest about it with others is simply a cop out. It never works. You guarantee failure when you do that.
Talk About It
- What sin in your life do you need to confess to another person?
- To whom in your life can you confess your sin?
- What frightens you about revealing your sin to someone else?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.