Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. - James 5:16
Thoughts for Today
When we use defenses to hide from the truth of a problem or sin in our life, we build a wall brick by brick. This wall protects us from the truth and provides a secret place for us to hide. Unfortunately, the wall also isolates us from people who can help us.
As long as we continue hiding the truth, no amount of willpower can free us from the issues that master us. Hiding can only lead to a downward spiral from cover-up to relapse and despair.
God is our source of help, but he often chooses to help us through other people. The words in today's scripture make it clear that God wants us to share our problems—our faults, our slips, our false steps, our offenses, and our sins—with other believers so that we can pray together. This sharing will lead to healing and restoration.
Consider this …
Truth brings freedom. If you've been hiding a problem, a sin, be encouraged to stop hiding and open your life to God. Stop isolating yourself—find Christian people who will love and care for you unconditionally. Be honest with them and ask them to pray with you. When the cycle of cover-up, relapse and despair is broken, the result will be spiritual freedom in Christ.
Lord, thank you for giving me believing friends who really care about me. I've been walking around with a wall between me and them, pretending as though everything is OK when it isn't. Help me to be honest. Show me who you would have me talk to. Help me to be courageous enough to share my troubles with them so that they will pray for me. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div. This updated version is presented in two parts. It offers information for anyone who either has a life-controlling problem or has a loved one with a life-controlling problem:
Part 1: Learning to Live Free
- Defining Life-Controlling Problems
- Mastered and Trapped by Issues
- Walls of Protection
- Family Influences
- Helping or Harming?
Part 2: Helping Others to Live Free through Small Groups
- The Small Group Strategy
- Effective Facilitation and Communication
Launching a Living Free Ministry
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