Read: James 5:16-20
One of the difficult inner struggles that we have is our desire to be known versus our fear of being known. Since we are created in the image of God, we are made to be known – known by God and also by others. However due to our fallen nature, all of us have sins and weaknesses that we don’t want others to know about. Sometimes we use the phrase “dark side” to refer to aspects of our lives that we keep hidden from others. And we always strive to project our good side alone to others. One reason we are unwilling to risk being known is that we fear rejection and scorn. But when we discover that God knows us as we are, loves us, and is willing to forgive even the worst thing we have done, our fear of being known by God dissolves away. And when we find a community of believers who understands the lively relationship between forgiveness and confession, we feel safe confessing our sins to one another (James 5:16).
In James 5, James describes the deep connection that should exist between Christian brothers and sisters. Confession requires deep openness and revealing of that which we would rather hide, i.e., our sins. But James says that confession of sin is to go along with prayer, and not judgement. He also says that healing is related to the covering of sins (James 5:20). Confession must be coupled with a change of action. Without change, confession is only a response to guilt feelings. Godly sorrow for sin leads to a different direction in life. “Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10). When we hear others’ confessions, we help each other to continue on the path of righteousness.
D. L. Moody once said, “The voice of sin may be loud, but the voice of forgiveness is louder.” The life of faith is not just showing our good side alone. It is about exposing our dark side to the light of Christ through confession to God and also to others. This helps us to receive healing and live in the freedom of forgiveness and experience true joy in our hearts. Can you be transparent to God?