chevron-leftchevron-right-+crossclosefacebook-bwGroup 15instagram-bwmenuNew Tabtwitter-bwyoutube-bw
facebook-bw twitter-bw instagram-bw youtube-bw menu close - +

Why We Need Help

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.

James 5:16
Why We Need Help Book Cover

Shakespeare loved to use masks in his plays—a sort of play within a play. In Much Ado About Nothing, the characters attend a masked ball, disguising their true identities. It’s a safe place to figure out who likes whom, like junior highers passing notes through their friends. Does Hero like Claudio? How does Beatrice really feel about Benedick, whom she outwardly scorns? But throughout the play, the masks—real and symbolic—have a more devious function than a dance. Masks hide insecurities, and these insecurities threaten to undo the happily-ever-after.

Behind the curtain of high-performing employee, energetic adventurer, happily married wife, loving mother, and pitch-perfect hostess, there’s always something rotten. If we reveal our sin and fears and insecurities, we may lose our image, our belonging, and our security. So, we often stay behind the mask and curtain.

But we need a safe place to remove our masks.

Mirrors for Masks

James calls us to confess our sins to one another. When we confess those ugly, rotten things about ourselves within trusted Christian community, we extend our freedom from our relationship with God to our relationship with others. When we confess our sins to each other, James said, we will be healed. This healing happens because “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). Revealing our sin brings it to a place where others can pray for us; it brings darkness to light. Instead of being shamed, we are lifted to God. Instead of rejection, we find love and belonging. We have the opportunity to see each other as we truly are—marred but made in the image of God. Then we can hear Jesus’ voice through his body saying, “I see you exactly as you are, and I love you.”

On our own, the path of sanctification is treacherous. We forget who we are, why we are following Jesus, and where we are going. But together, with mutual compassion, we hold each other accountable, offer a hand when the other falls, and lean on each other in prayer. We remind each other who we truly are and where we’re going. This kind of vulnerability requires setting aside our masks. It requires confessing to one another the truth about ourselves and letting others speak the truth of Jesus into our lives. We need each other.


Leader Guide


Learn More

About IF:Equip

Go Back

The Power to Change

Watch Week Three

Confess Sin

Daily Question

What stops you from revealing your true self to a friend or family member? How could it change what they think of you? How could it change your relationships? How could you be a safe place for someone else to confess their sins?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments (11)

Betrayal has taught me to be very careful about who and what I may reveal about my true self even to a family member or close friend
I’ve been as honest as I could of been in the past
Keeping many personal secrets of the past out of trust that’s because I’m a Christian
I’ve always found confessing to God the most important and help along with taking time For everything in prayer to him first
it’s a process because there are everyday things that need prayer too sometimes we are not seeing as a need for prayer
Jesus said bring me all your cares and worries I try to bring this into my daily prayer life for myself my family and friends, neighbors or prayer request from others God is always on his throne

Showing your weakness and being transparent is very vulnerable. My fear is when I share my struggles it will be pushed aside or not taken seriously. Seeing their negative reaction would push me more into keeping it to myself and not opening up to others. Their reaction is what causes me not to share.

I believe being open and transparent in a healthy way can an encouragement and support to others to feel safe to share their struggles and not have to hold them in.

Fear. Fear that they will see me differently . Fear the relationship will change. Fear of rejection. Fear of ridicule. Fear. Fear is a liar that sneaks in and destroys.

The enemy also tells me other lies..such as you don’t have anyone close enough to confide in. You don’t have that many friends so don’t alienate them. And so many others.

What stops me from revealing my true self to others is my pride and the fact that once in the past I shared something with a friend who shared it with another mutual friend in front of me. While it ultimately was okay with both friends there are now things I will not share with the first friend and I am very guarded on what I share with her in particular and others in general. It is sometimes easier to share with Christian "strangers" than church friends, people who I will probably never see again. I feel blessed because I have a sister and a couple of friends that I can be real and they will pray with me and for me and I can do the same with them. Thank you for being a safe place for me. I pray that all of us will share appropriately with others as the Holy Spirit leads us and pray and speak truth to those who share with us. Elise’s story reminded me about parts of my much younger days. Although I didn’t know God at the time and He already knew all I had done, it was cleansing and really freeing to confess to my Heavenly Father who sent His Son to die for me while I was a sinner, didn’t know Him but He kept beckoning me to come to Him. Although I already was a Christian, that specific confession two nights ago broke through a barrier to bring me into a closer intimacy with God.

Fear, shame,pride. If they knew….? Well, I guess it would reveal the truth. Some might reject me, some might identify and draw closer to Jesus, knowing that he forgives.

Definitely fear… Fear of rejection, that someone will use it against me, that it will be a weapon used against me.

After attending IF:Gathering a few years ago, I left with the word "Vulnerability" heavy on my heart. I’ve been intentional about being more vulnerable – mostly with people within my bubble. The fear I associate with vulnerability has lessened over that time, and I’m grateful for God’s work in changing me.

I keep part of who I am because I fear people really don’t like me in first place. I’m not a total closed book – but there are times I’m glad we don’t have the ability to read minds. I don’t trust that people aren’t going to gossip about what I tell them. If they tell me something somebody else has told them in confidence than wouldn’t they do the same to me? Of course they would. If I’m told something in confidence it really doesn’t go any farther than my ears.

Often times what stops me from confessing sin is not realizing it in myself. This is something I am striving to work on after doing these sessions.

I really relate to this. Its really hard to get my mind to go there and identify sin in myself. It feels more comfortable to talk about emotions and motivations with people close to me, but its hard to think about sin even inside myself.

Fear, shame, loosing someone important to me.they could shame me and want nothing to do with me anymore. A friend could say your not Christian enough and exit out of my life. Fear of rejection. I would pray with someone who needed to confess sins, listen, and encourage. Assure them of Gods love for them.

Because the severity of my sins and my trust I put in to my trusted people I confess my sins to I expect my safe space to be a confidential space as the same vice versa so when others vent or confess there sins I now honor that. I am working currently on being better at holding my tongue and trying to learn to speak life in to things. I have had a hard time with acceptance of sin and the wearing of masks in fear of judgement due to past experiences. I’m so glad I truly have spiritual advisors that are truly helping guide me in to a more positive mind set way of thinking. And that we all have things we truly don’t allow the world to know be we do confess those sins to our fellow Christian’s and trusted spaces and we find acceptance, we find peace, we find kindness.

Have questions?

We've got answers.

View Our FAQs

Thank you to our study partner