Step into the light

“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:6-9)

In Matthew 7:24-29, Jesus tells his listeners that the difference between the wise and foolish person is whether or not they put into practice His words. James, in his letter, says something similar, that it is of no value to hear the word and not act on it, but that the power lies in doing what the word says (James 1:22-25). There are some times in which the important thing is not to tell eloquent stories that move or inspire you, but to simply challenge you towards obedience. This is one of those times.

In 1 John 1:6-9, John writes about how powerful it can be to walk in the light, to choose to bring our sins and struggles into the light of day with another person instead of keeping them in the dark. I have found this to be true again and again in my life – as long as I harbor sin in secret, it holds some measure of power over me. But when I confess it to a friend, there is a power that is broken. Not only so, but now there is a brother to whom I am accountable, someone who will pray for me, remind of the forgiveness I have in Jesus, and then follow up with me to see how I am doing.

There are all kinds of reasons not to enter into this kind of relationship with another person. Maybe you feel embarrassed talking about your private sins and struggles. Perhaps you are afraid that you will be judged. Maybe you have never stepped out to that level of depth with another person, and you are not sure that another person will hold your confession in confidence. I understand, for I have been there. Let me encourage you to take the step anyways. Let this word to you be a simple challenge to bring your stuff into the light with a friend, and to see what God can do.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

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