It's not a Bible verse that's spoken of too much but it's important nonetheless. We live in a day where almost anything goes and in an age of increasing anonymity and lack of accountability. I can look at what I want to, when I want to. More and more we're encouraged to behave like mini chiefs in a fiefdom. We're told we can order our worlds without any real concern for a wider family or community; that you are number 1.
You are king
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. -- James 5:16It's important we take this verse seriously. Important not only because of a Christian's call to be part of a community, but important because of the nature of sin.
We like to think of ourselves as free to be and do whatever we please but Jesus tells us that 'whoever sins is a slave to sin.' John 8:34
My pride tells me that I can do what I like when I like and that this is freedom, that I'm a king; but Jesus tells me that sin's grip traps me and holds me prisoner, that I'm a slave.
James' command to the church matters. It matters because sin kept in the dark grows, like bacteria but confession kills it by bringing into the light. Striking a match and shielding it with my hands protects the flame and allows it to grow. Bringing it out into the open into the elements extinguishes it. Hidden sin grows and as it does its power to destroy and cause serious injury to ourselves and others increases with it. Sin's fire exposed by confession is extinguished.
When I used to watch BayWatch (for lifeguard researching purposes only you understand) and people were rescued from the sea, CPR was performed. However before air could be blown into someone's lungs the water first needed to be emptied from them. When the lungs are full of water, oxygen can't help. Confessing sin empties from our lives the things that threaten to drown us. Once empty we can then receive truth, prayer and spiritual oxygen back into our lungs.
James 5:16 matters. It stops the bacteria of sin, the fire of sin and the ocean of sin from drowning, burning and polluting us.
Confess your sin to one another and pray for one another and you 'll be healed.
How you do it and with whom is up to you but for goodness sake don't keep sin in the dark and don't put yourself above accountability and reproach.