February 9, 2011

Confess your sins... so that you may be healed (James 5:16)

Confessing of  sins has been a question for me as well. To how many people? How detailed? What sins? etc.
"Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" (Jm 5:13-16)

James says the aim of confession is forgiveness and health. He doesn't call to deal with sins constantly, but in case of sickness. I think 'sickness' needn't be only bodily problem but also mental, emotional or anything that hinders our relationship with God.

What I've heared and read, it's not healthy to dig in our sins constantly nor remember old forgiven sins and worry again about them. But in some cases, e.g if there are emotional wounds or unconfessed sins from the past, it should be healing to bring these into the light, to give them the right judgement, to forgive to your hurters, to ask and accept forgiveness. When it is cleard up, we shouldn't dig any more.
Well it's more complicated with present repeting sins. I don't have a good answer here.

And even we don't look for sins constantly, it's probably sensible to check from time to time various areas of our lives, if these are ok in front of God.

It's also good to remember that Satan can accuse us without a reason, reminding our past sins and failures, to discourage us. He can also make us restless and feeling guilty without a real sin. He wants us to feel hopeless. When the Holy Spirit convicts us in a sin, it is something specific. He calles us to clear it up with God and find peace.

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