“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.” – James 5:16
So one of my topics for this month is “Sharing Your Struggles With Another Person,” and in this blog I want to take a quick look at what it means to really get down and get real with someone. We need to be able to, as Christians, to let our walls down, let people get down in our muck and mud, as well as being willing to get down into theirs as well.
Understanding that Salvation does not give instant emotional health offers us an important insight into the doctrine of sanctification. “Sanctification is our growth in Christlikeness.” Christians have only two options when it comes to forming relationships: either remain comfortably distant from the struggles and sinfulness in one another or open a can of worms. But when the worms of self-protection and demandingness are let out of the can, when people get to know each other’s hurts and disappointments, when issues that really matter are actually talked about, then there is the potential for life-changing fellowship.
Millions of people in America have never had one minute in their whole lifetime where they could ‘let down’ and share with another person their deeper feelings. It’s in these times of one on one’s or one on two’s (in some cases where friends are able to be real with one another and their accountability) that life can actually be changed.
Yes coming to know Jesus brings you freedom from who you were, who you are, and whom you may have been had you not come to know Him. But, in more cases than not, people will still walk around hurting, broken, altered perceptions of who Jesus is, who they are to Him, what their identity is, and what they are truly called to do.
I’ve met only about 2 or 3 people in my time of ministry that were completely relinquished of all past hurts and brokenness upon salvation. And that’s all good and well, that’s heaps rad, but for the rest of us, whom for whatever reason didn’t receive that, we have to work past that. We have to get together with one another, in the name of Jesus, talk about our pasts, forgive those in it that caused hurt, including ourselves and our own unforgiveness towards past hurts, and continue talk about where we currently are with our muck and mud.
The word says to confess our struggles to one another so that healing may come. In our times with sharing our struggles we’ll become free, the person we may be telling our struggles to may also become free or overcome whatever it is they happen to struggle with as well, simply because we are obedient to His word, and we let down our walls, and we let people see where we really are and what God is really doing in our lives.
You know, when I was a kid, my Mum used to be all about me cleaning my room, weekly, did I mention weekly? Yeah horrible, so as a kid I had a twin size bed and a closet that just had those folding out doors. And in my 10 year old brain, I thought that if at first glance she could see my bed was made and that she could see my carpet… I thought that would be enough to get her approval to go outside and skate, or blow up action figures with my crazy next door neighbor.
So I’d “clean” my room, by making my bed, having the comforter lay off the sides of my bed, and I’d stuff half my junk under my bed where she couldn’t see, and into my folded door closet, where also at first glance she could not see my junk.
Yup, just as I had planned, she’d come in, take a glance, give me a “Goodboy, Matie!” And then she’d let me bounce. But the kicker is, is that that didn’t free my room from my ever growing trash. Just stuffing it away out of sight, that didn’t cleanse my carpet of the 3 bags of molded grapes that were below my playstion rack, but now find themselves in the dark crevice of my under bed.
Eventually my Mum got wise to the hide the crap game I was playing… Probably because it started smelling, or she’d go to hang up my shirts and my closet would burst wide open! The smell was out of control, the amount of trash and toys stocked in my closet was out of control, and when what you’re trying to hide was out of control before you hid it away, and you continue to pile more on top of it, you best believe it’s just going to spill right out.
That’s the same thing when we aren’t obedient with what the word says, when it says to confess our crap to one another so that freedom and healing may come. Only so much we can fabreeze over expect no one to smell what is really happening.
If I had just been obedient to my Mum, I would have never of gotten grounded for a month, and doomed to my hanging out only in my nasty smelling room!
God won’t punish you for not sharing your garbage, like my Mum punished me for not cleaning mine, but you punish yourself with not sharing and getting real. You doom yourself to stay in the same place, the same sin, and probably piling on new sin and when you pile on more, it beats you down more.
You better believe that if you don’t let it out, it will burst out, if the enemy cannot destroy you, he will make sure to embarrass you, probably with your closet busting wide open on whatever platform you speak from.
I encourage you! Get with someone, get real, and get healed! As well as let someone get with you, get real with you, and get healed through sharing with you. Jesus came to set us free, let’s not hinder what He is doing, by being freaked out by someone’s sin or hurt. Take it on as Jesus took on our sin.