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 5:16About ten years ago I got into my minivan that was parked on the street (we live on a hill), put it into reverse (by mistake) and drove it right into my husband's car - which then popped his car out of gear and rolled down the hill. I had no idea how bad it was until I got out of the minivan. I saw my sweet husband running down the road after his car before it smashed it into someone's house. And what did I say? "Oh my gosh - I think there is something wrong with the minivan because I know I put it in drive and it just felt like it slipped."
After I said those words I almost slapped myself but I kept with my story. This is not one of my prouder moments. I stuck with it until later that week we went to church and was about to receive communion. And then it hit me - how awful a thing it was that I did. I made a mistake and then lied about it (and really stuck to my story too).
It is so hard to admit when we are wrong. Sometimes, I think I might die before I admit I was wrong. And I've wondered, why should I do that in front of others? I tell my kids all the time it's OK to say that "I was wrong and I'm sorry" but then when it comes to me - my pride rears it's ugly head.
Let's all agree that admitting we are wrong is hard. If it wasn't, then I think the admission step of recovery would just be a bunch of words. And, I think it's easier to admit to God when we are wrong - (and this is my opinion) because we are not face to face. I have considered this before actually. If I was before God, would it be as easy to say "I screwed up!"?
James is telling us to confess our sins to another righteous person. He's not saying to go out and look for the holiest person you can find. But rather, he is saying someone that is doing what God and man wants.
It's why in Celebrate Recovery and a traditional 12 Step program, the 5th step involves that we admit to not only God and ourselves AND another being that we are wrong. If we can find this type of person (and often it's someone who has gone before us such as a sponsor) usually that kind of righteous person isn't going to judge you - but rather understand your journey.
Personally, when I admit my sins I tend to feel a whole lot lighter - almost with a spring in my step because I know the ugliness is behind me. I'm not going to look back and dwell on it but look ahead and learn, knowing that I've admitted I was wrong.
I hope that I don't have anymore runaway minivans in my life and my prayer is that you too go get the "minivan" in your life and admit to someone so that you can embrace God's healing power.
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