Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
We were not meant to keep secrets, even about our most shameful acts. God calls us to be connected, to bear one another’s burdens, and to reopen the eyes of our hearts.
We may decide that since we can see our own faults and God knows it all anyway, we don’t have to be vulnerable to another person. Such pride and ego block our spiritual growth and keep us at the distance from God and others.
It is easy to keep the veil over our eyes and eyes of others as we remain in the shadows of denial. Our pride and shame become more ingrained when we avoid facing up to our actions or claiming who we really are.
When we are finally able to share face-to-face with God and with others, the miracle of being accepted for who we really are – defects assets, and all, results in us coming to the realization that we are part of the human race which is fallen and sinful. It is when we share with God and with other Christians that the façade we have built around us will crumble and fall and we will realize the freedom we have in being vulnerable and open to one another.
In bearing our hearts with one another and God, we cleanse our hearts of resentments, bitterness, fears, and judgments and make room for the truly useful and good things God has for us. Our character assets will be more readily apparent to others and more available to God. But in bearing our transgressions with God and another, we must be sure this other person is someone who is more interested in our spiritual wholeness and our freedom than in our individual transgressions.
By admitting and examining the specifics of our sin, we find a pathway to the deeper core problems that lead us to wrongdoing. As we come to know the truth about ourselves, “the truth will set us free” (John 8:32). A wall that has stood between ourselves, others, and God will come down. We can face our past, pain, and shame, with a new attitude. A sense of humility and gratitude begins to form. We find that God does not give up on us, and that his compassion is unending.
After our confession we must learn to accept forgiveness from God and from others. It is not always easy to simply accept forgiveness – not avoiding or refusing, but just receiving. As we do so, we begin to see ourselves in better perspective as being neither better nor worse than others. We are just human beings trying to grow up and get along in the world.
This pathway leads to freedom and brings great rewards. Instead of being more self-focused, we become less selfish. Instead of becoming more concerned about our image, we can be more real with others. Instead of being self-destructive, we have a new found self-respect.
It is through our confession to God and another that leads us to becoming transparent and vulnerable, breaking down the wall between God and ourselves, allowing God to work through us to become the person he created us to be.