June 11, 2024

Rob Campbell
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
James 5:16 NKJV

Yesterday, I shared this thought from author, Roger Ellsworth, “Confession should always be as wide as the sin. If we have sinned secretly, we should confess it to God. If we have sinned against someone else, we should confess it to God and to the person whom we have wronged. And if we have sinned publicly, we should confess it to God and in public.”

Today, let’s dive into the “why” behind the highlighted portion of Ellsworth’s quote.  The “why” is straightforward—so that YOU may be healed.  Confessing sin to a person we have wronged “rips off the mask of hypocrisy so we can breathe the air of honesty” (Garrett Kell). Our heart awakens, and Christ renews us as we embrace humility, eradicating the pride that keeps sin enticing to our souls. This healing that James highlights is holistic—emotional, spiritual, and physical.  

Psalm 32 is believed to have been written by King David after he committed adultery and murder, including sleeping with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and sending Uriah to die in battle. “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone” (Psalm 32:3–5, NLT).  Granted, David’s confession is to God, but don’t miss the healing results—his forgiveness and guilt are wiped away.  A few verses later, David proclaims, “For you are my hiding place, you protect me from trouble.  You surround me with songs of victory (v.7).”

Tomorrow, I’ll expand on the “why” of James 5:16.  Teaser: “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).