We were seated together in my office. He was about 63 years old, balding with neatly groomed grey hair and a perfect mustache. As he adjusted his silver rimmed spectacles, I noticed they had those loops that go behind the ears to hold them in place. With no nose pads, his glasses seemingly melded into his face, making them look like they were part of it. He looked like a kindly country doctor.
As he wiped the tears rolling down his tan cheeks, he told a story about abuse, rape, racial discrimination, personal failure and desperation. Without any sense of self-pity, he spoke of the things he experienced at the hands of his mother, his uncle, his father’s friend and the neo-Nazi’s at the garage he used to work at.
He also spoke of how God’s love has impacted his life and sustained him through all the years. And then he said this, “Some people say that all you need is God and you will be fine. I don’t believe that. God has provided his bride, the church to make up for the ways that God as spirit can’t do. Without other Christians, we are not fully complete.” I agreed.
Some of the things he said had never been told to anyone before today. As he spoke the words, the tears flowed. And somehow as he wiped his tears he held his head up a little higher than when he walked in the door. He smiled at me through his tears. He was free!
And that, my friends is what James 5:16 is all about!
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
This passage is more than just confessing the sins we commit. It's also about the sins committed against us that we carry in shameful silence. Satan's power is in the darkness and when we expose his deeds to the light, the power dissipates. John exhorts us to live in the light so that we can be free! Are you living in the light?