“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
I suspect that most people do not understand the power of confession. We would rather carry around our guilt, keeping it hidden from everyone, than to admit our guilt to anyone. When the unconfessed guilt has weakened and sickened us, we would still rather pay someone to listen to us, who we will never see again, than to confess to a family member or friend.
The Psalmist expresses it this way. “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer (Psalm 32:3-4).”
James tells us in our opening text that healing will not come until we confess it to someone and pray together about it. Do you remember when your children were young and they would confess things to you they had done? After praying together you celebrated the confession and rejoiced with a strengthened bond of love and new joy. Why do we delay the healing process? Why do we prolong the suffering?
Relationships change between parents and children as we all grow older. Old un-confessed sins of the parent, or of the child, or both, may still gnaw at us and may be the reason for today’s emotional and physical pain. But now, it is more difficult than ever to confess the wrong.
Is it possible that your parent or your child needs to confess a wrong? Perhaps either the adult child or the ageing parent could help the other with a simple question offered carefully and lovingly. “Is there anything you always wanted to tell me that you haven’t been able to tell?” Or, “Is there anything in our past that still troubles you today?” If confession comes, take it together to God in prayer, and be prepared to be as full of grace and forgiveness as God always is. Let the healing begin.
“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it” (Arnold H. Glasgow). I so agree. Patience is an indispensable ingredient of a peaceful, happy life. Imagine the mistakes which would not have happened had you been more patient. Think of the unnecessary anguish you have suffered because you lacked patience. How many friends or family members have you driven crazy or driven away because you had too little patience? What better life and more intense joy could you have gained had you been more patient?
One day I will have more patience. I can’t wait! Patience is essential to the character of every believer in Jesus.
Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
It is how we wait for the Lord (Psalm 40:1).
It is what love is (1 Corinthians 13:4).
It is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).
It is how we walk in a worthy manner (Ephesians 4:2).
It is a goal of the power we receive for holy living (Colossians 1:11).
It is how we should be to everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
It is the key to endurance (1 Peter 2:20).
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” If we pay close attention to nature, we see amazing illustrations of this virtue. It is as if God ordered all of his creation in a way to teach us one simple lesson, “Good things come to those who wait.”
Did you ever sing this children’s song?
Have patience, have patience.
Don’t be in such a hurry.
When you get impatient, you only start to worry.
Remember, remember that God is patient, too
And think of all the times when others have to wait for you.
“Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31).
Norman Drummond, Chaplain