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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.


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The Power to Change

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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?

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Comments (16)

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.

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. 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.

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.

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

That such a prilefge to have a friend come to you with their troubles and confessions. I have shared my sins with others it is always freeing no matter how they take it. Because I feel the peace my Heavenly Father gives. ❤️
It is very sad if people would look down on you if you confess your sins to them but I think if they see a repentant heart, they will understand. Our Heavenly Father does 😍🥰

Wow! Well I think ppl won’t like me if they know my past. They will look at me differently . Also ppl tend to get bored. I feel I am putting them out by whining about my tough upbringing.

Elizabeth sometimes sharing your story will give others the courage to share theirs. Your story may be just what some else needs to hear. Your story could never be boring because God is the one who helps you write it and stands with you through it! Please share your story with a friend you trust and I think you will both be blessed! Remember your true identity is through Christ Jesus.

For me, worrying about what someone will really think of me will stop me from being vulnerable. But I’ve found when I do share something, someone else has felt or been through the same thing and that’s so freeing, just feeling not so alone!

I have always been more of a sharer than I hider with my friends. I am usually the one that is frustrated they don’t share with me! I think it is so important to grow friendships that are safe enough where you can talk about things you are struggling with or confessing sin. I have found myself more comfortable to share as I start to get to know someone better. This is why community is important to me. The more I invite someone new to dinner or get a coffee or start up a text thread, the better we get to know each other and the more safe the relationship becomes. Then when confession is comfortable, it is important to share your testimony of taking your confession to God. Ultimately you want God to be who the confession goes to, not just your confessions to each other.

Oh Ashley you sound just like me . I’m always so eager to make new friends and band together in unity and be free to confess when I do things wrong . Funny how so many like us share here . Maybe there’s more of us than we think . Jesus wants us united to show His Love 💕 to the world

What stops me is the fear of rejection and past experiences. I grew up a military brat and have always been pretty honest and upfront about who I am. I tend to go too deep too fast for the average person, that’s one consequence of not staying in one place for very long or knowing how long your friends will be there; you go deep fast. I’m not very good at gauging how deep and how quickly someone wants to go, but I need to be better at determining that and not pushing too hard too fast for the group I’m in or for a new friend I’m trying to make. My husband and I are starting a new group at our new church on Sunday; it’s another chance for me to start over with a new group of people. I’m hoping that some deep friendships come out of this group. Right now I don’t have many friends.

Hi Angela, while I do not share your story of military moving, I, too, tend to go deep fast. I’m not good at small talk! Let’s just get to the the point where we are friends, right?! I am praying that you find strong friendships in your new small group. I pray you are comfortable in the group and God sends you people that are welcoming to your openness and reciprocate your desire for community.

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