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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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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 (19)

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.

Military brat here! I went the opposite way and tended to be very shy and hid myself from others.
Praying you find friends who lift you up.

I think we are scared to confess our sins of one thing fear of judgment. Once we learn to overcome that fear and confess I think the fear will be gone. We need to understand that all of us have some kind of sin we hide. So we need to keep in mind not to judge be a friend and listen and pray for the one who confesses to you. What a blessing also to have when a friend does confess to you about a sin that your friend chosen you to help and pray for her about the sin that she confesses. What a blessing.

I think pride stops me and a past experience of whom I thought was a mature Christian not being able to pray with me over a difficult situation. It became a stumbling block for her…which really was difficult for me to see.

It’s been hard for me to find true friends that love the Lord. We’ve moved around with the military for 23 years and now are retired. I am blessed now to have a very close knit ladies small group that I’ve been involved with for the past 3 years. It’s a safe space I believe and I truly value safe places for other believers.

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