Revealing shoved-in-the-way-back-of-the-closet-skeletons

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail.

James 5:16

I have always struggled with this Bible verse. The major reason is that I don’t want to ruin this “perfect image” that my friends have of me. I’ll tell them my superficial sins- how I lied, how I stole a tiny teddy bear from Michael’s when I was younger, but never EVER my deepest darkest secrets. I was good at it too. I was good at shoving those skeletons far back in the closet- so far that even I did not remember they were there. Those skeletons held shame in their hearts, an eternal embarrassment of what I had done. I never truly understood what it meant when Christian authors and preachers compared us to filthy rags. But then when I sinned, that was exactly how I felt, like a filthy rag. The kind of rag you use to clean a dirty bathroom with- first white and clean smelling and then black and worthy of vomiting from.

My best friend and I have always said to each other how we tell each other EVERYTHING. And it was true… for the most part. In my mind, I was screaming. I wanted to tell her EVERYTHING. About the skeletons that I tried exhuming from my mind. I felt like a fake friend. I hadn’t been real with her about all the struggles and sins in my life. But every time I came close to sharing, shame and embarrassment covered me. I kept telling myself it’s okay if she doesn’t know, you’ve been forgiven, it’s not necessary to tell her. And over and over again, there I was, shoving the skeleton back into the closet.

Long story short, I eventually told her those deep-in-the-closet secrets. *yay, crowds go wild* FINALLY. I told her. In the back of my head, I knew she would still love me, but fear always overcame me. I was overcome with fear of what she would think of me. What would she say? Would she be disgusted with me? Would we still be friends?

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

James 5:16

I was now beginning to understand the meaning of this verse. Confess your sins to each other… so that you may be healed. The enemy gains power and excitement over seeing you sin and feel unforgiven. He wants you to feel shame. He wants you to feel like you cannot say anything. He creates fear. Anxiety. Isolation. Hatred. He tears open wounds and continues to scratch at them so that they won’t heal.

There is something about confessing my sins to my friend. By telling her, I felt free. By “simply” confessing my past and present sins, I felt as if she came alongside me and shared my burden. I felt lighter and felt that I could breathe easier. Every time I confess my sins, the enemy becomes weak and powerless. Like a lion, he knows how difficult it is to attack its prey when it is not by itself.

My friend is not Jesus, by no means. She can provide some healing, but Jesus can provide ultimate spiritual healing. He provides grace, forgiveness and truth. Both my friend and I am human. We will always remember our pasts even though we know we are forgiven. But God forgives and literally forgets. He remembers those sins no more and does not hold them against us. We are clean in His eyes, purified by the One who came to save us- Jesus.

I thank God for the friends He placed in my life. He knows I cannot do much by myself. I thank Jesus for forgiving me and making me whiter than snow. I pray against spiritual warfare and against the enemies flaming arrows, which are directed towards me. Thank You Lord. Amen.

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