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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

A Word from James: Confession

by Marilynn Chadwick

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16 NIV)

Confession. It's good for the soul. And according to James, it's good for the body, too. He shows a link between the confessing of our sins and the healing of our sickness. Another form of prayer, confession, is simply admitting our sins to God and to our fellow believers.

It’s been said that our secrets make us sick. Confession brings our sin into the light. Look what happens next. “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” (James 5:15 NIV). James uses an interesting word here for sickness. In addition to illness, it can mean "weary, fatigued, mentally drained, exhausted." Sin not only separates us from God, it's downright exhausting.  

Confession of our sins is the first step toward healing—bringing our sins “out” in front of others. I don't think it matters whether we confess our shortfalls to one, two, or ten friends. The idea is to acknowledge our failure before God and others. This takes the stinger out of our soul and opens ourselves to healing. James reminds us that the prayer of faith is powerful enough to heal both our body and our soul.

Do you have someone to whom you can freely confess your sins? I encourage you to pause and think about your relationships. We all need accountability. Without it, we can't grow as God intended and we sure can't experience freedom from sin. Following Christ was never meant to be a solo journey.

A courageous young friend once took James' admonition seriously. Eager to grow in her faith walk, she emailed a few of her close friends and family these words:

I am reflecting on areas of growth and want to understand some of my hang ups. You've been an integral part of my life and have seen my good, bad, and ugly. Would you speak into my life about anything you see that hinders the future God has called me to? Thanks for helping me in my journey toward holiness. 

Might we be courageous today to not only confess our known sins to each other but to seek feedback from those who know and love us? Through confession, let's take the stinger out of our soul and open the door to God's provision of freedom, health, and holiness.

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