Skip to main content

Got a wall in the middle?

Who would ever connect confession and prayer to being able to live together with others whole and healed?  Well, scripture tells us the man or woman who lives this way becomes a "power" to be reckoned with.  Some of us think when people continue to cause strife in relationships this is when they become a "power" to be reckoned with, but scripture proclaims just the opposite to be true.  Too many times we determine we cannot go any further because someone or something just stands in our way.  Sin has a way of putting up some pretty great walls - better than the walls which have divided countries! Instead of causing communication to occur, it shuts down the pathways of communication and causes us to draw inward. We neglect communicating what we struggle with the most.  Maybe this is why James tells us to make confession and prayer "our common practice" - since our common practice needs a little more than a slight overhaul!

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.   (James 5:16-17 MSG)

For most of the human race, confession isn't a natural thing we just slip into with great ease.  In fact, being honest about where it is we are at, or perhaps where it is we have failed, is oftentimes the hardest thing for us to do in this life.  I have often said transparency in relationship will be the one thing which helps us grow deeper in the relationship, but it is the hardest thing to learn. There is more than one reason for this reticence to be open and honest with each other - things such of fear the other will no longer respect you if they knew the "real" you, or the attitude which says no one needs to know because you can handle things on your own.  Regardless of the reason, you end up with walls which really make it hard to communicate and grow.  If you don't believe me, researchers have found 55% of communication is our body language.  How can we see another's body language when we are separated by walls?  Another 38% is our tone of voice - but even the tone of voice can be changed because of our circumstances - such as being quick to answer when in a hurry, interpreted by the hearer as being flip or just not caring. Allegedly, only 7% is what we actually say!

James encourages us to "make this our common practice" - in other words, you probably aren't doing it now, but you need to learn how to do this and to do it well.  Now, before anyone thinks I am going over the deep end here, let me explain a little bit about "confession".  In some churches, a priest is the one who "hears" our confession.  Don't get me wrong, but I don't think this is God's idea.  In fact, scripture tells us to engage in this practice of confession with those who will pray for us and help us to live whole lives.  The priest may pray for us, but honestly, he is not in the trenches with us day after day.  We need those who are close to us to help us live out our healing!  Confession is simply an acknowledgement that something is not right at the moment.  It may be we are struggling to put the pieces of our lives back together after making horrific choices which have left us devastated and feeling like there is no hope for moving on.  It may be we just don't "get" what another person is doing or saying, so we can neither engage in the process, nor can we stand in the way of it.  Regardless of the "reason" for confession, there needs to be a safe place for the "need" for confession in our relationships.

Too many times things go unsaid in relationship because the other is afraid to "cross the line" with the other.  Some of us actually think if they knew us as we really are, they probably wouldn't want to be hanging around with us!  I think the opposite is true - for when someone cares enough to open their heart with me, being totally willing to get "vulnerable" with me, I am drawn to their humble heart.  I find I am moved to pray for them, holding them up before God in my thoughts throughout the day, and then help them take the steps they so desperately desire to take.  Maybe this is what James was trying to tell us - confession, coupled with prayer, makes us powerful in true relationship.  

Three things my pastor shared this past weekend:
- Humble people don't fear confession.  They are willing to look stupid in the eyes of others because no steps forward are ever easy.
- Humble people operate in the realm of truth.  Truth builds trust and trust will help us to walk where we have been afraid to walk before.
- Humble people aren't afraid to seek grace.  Grace-filled people have probably already needed a whole lot of grace already!  So, giving it away is easy!

Not sure where you stand today, but I know the walls won't help you communicate any better!  Just sayin!

http://vimeo.com/72137116
The Elephant in the Room - Part I

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean