Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James chapter 5, verse 16, International Standard Version)
I sometimes wonder if this is where the Roman Catholic Church went so wrong with confession. We’re supposed to bring our sins straight to God, which is possible through Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. And yet the Vatican decided, “Hey, let’s make our people confess to a priest who will figure out the appropriate punishment before you can be considered forgiven.”
But I digress, as I so often do.
Confessing our sins to one another is to be honest about our failings. This is necessary to keep us honest and humble among our Christian brethren, and it is necessary to show those who aren’t Christian that while we may not be perfect, we also aren’t going to be hypocritically lying that we’re better people than they are.
A pity that so many Christians fail at that.
Admitting our failings and offenses is also important to keep healthy and honest communication going, with Christians or non-Chrisitians. It doesn’t mean giving a laundry list of every little sin or misstep but it does mean stepping up and saying, “I’ve been guilty of this kind of behavior.” Next step, of course, is to try to improve on that behavior.
As for the second part of James’ quote above, praying is important. We may not see the results of our prayers for ourselves or others in any immediate sense, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Most things in life aren’t a quick fix.