All of us have battles. It is a universal certainty and nobody gets a free pass. These battles include recovery from the injuries inflicted by others, profound violations of trust, betrayal, abandonment as well as terrible things we have done to ourselves and others. Every person you ever meet has a few items from their past that they hope nobody ever discovers about them. All of us have ongoing battles with sin habits, personality disorders, personal quirks, and deficiencies of character or strength. We all want freedom, but something keeps us enslaved.
Consider this truth: You are only as sick as your secrets.
Because that is true, this is also true: The pathway to genuine freedom includes confession.
“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.” James 5:16
Often, when we muster up the strength to confess, we limit our confession to God and do not involve other human beings. We do this because we know God is gracious, forgiving, and redemptive - that He will continue to move us forward toward our future rather than be trapped in our past. We are not so sure about people in this regard.
But another reason we confess only to God is that it allows us to protect our reputation and avoid humiliation before others. Have you ever confessed something about yourself to God only to quickly have someone accuse you of the same thing you just confessed, and you reacted in defensive hostility?
Here is the secret of true freedom and healing: Until your hatred for your sin exceeds your desire for self-protection, you will never confess. And if you never confess, you will never find true, genuine, and powerful freedom.
Note: it is wise to carefully choose the ones to whom you confess - people who love God, who are redemptive, and trustworthy. But don’t limit your confession only to pastors, priests, and professional counselors, who are vowed to secrecy. This is still a self-protective maneuver.
Want freedom? Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.