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Honesty

Whenever one goes to the doctor complaining of something or another, the doctor asks them to outline their symptoms. They ask what hurts, where it hurts, how bad it hurts if they’ve changed their diet or exercise routine, or if something happened in their life, whether a slip on an icy patch of sidewalk or a planter falling on their head to have caused the discomfort they are experiencing. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and if you trace it back, you will always discover the reason for that twinge in your back or the wobbly knee you woke up with.

I know at the time it was a good idea to help your neighbor pack the contents of his house into a U-Haul for the low, low price of a pineapple pizza, but you’re not twenty anymore, and you shouldn’t be trying to crab walk down a driveway with a refrigerator on your back anyhow.

You must be honest with your doctor to be diagnosed properly. If you fail to mention specific symptoms or withhold pertinent details, you risk being misdiagnosed and given a remedy that might work for others but will do nothing to ameliorate your condition.

It may be embarrassing or something you don’t want to discuss with another human being, but if you want to get better, you have to suck it up and be honest. The same applies when it comes to the spiritual man, and James makes this crystal clear.

James 5:16, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

An unconfessed sin will always hold sway over someone. It’s like the sword of Damocles, always there, hanging over your head, and you never know when it’s going to swing. It’s one of the reasons why so many today are spiritually stunted and unable to progress in their growth. They can’t bring themselves to confess their trespasses, and so their trespasses remain as a weight on their shoulders, keeping them sluggish and weary, exhausting their energy and draining both joy and peace from their lives.

It’s hard being vulnerable. It’s hard opening up and confessing one’s trespasses to another human being because you don’t know what they’ll do with the information, how they’ll react, whether or not they’ll judge you, or use it as a means of asserting influence over you. What James prescribes is different than what the Catholics do, wherein one figure receives confession, and everyone goes to them. James tells us to confess our trespasses to one another, inferring that we all have areas in our lives that we need to be watchful of; we all have shortcomings and failures we must unburden ourselves of that we might be made whole.

Fellowship, brotherhood, unity, and coming together as one body are vital to building up the trust necessary to open up to another and tell them of your struggles. You’ll likely find that they, too, get angry at seeing someone driving with their knees while on the phone and doing their nails and somehow managing to make you feel like the villain for having to swerve out of the way. I’m aware that there are darker things some are dealing with, but there is no freedom from the bondage without confession of the trespass and calling upon others to pray with you, for you, intercede on your behalf, and do unto you as they would have another do unto them in that situation. 

That we can’t be open and forthright with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is sad and troubling because it’s the only way the burden can be lifted, the chain can be broken, and healing can be had. We are one body, expected to hold each other accountable to God, lift each other up when one stumbles, and pray for each other when needed.

If you break your finger, you treat it. You have it set, you put a splint on it, and you take care not to injure it again so that it might heal properly. You don’t go poking at it, twisting it here and there, seeing if you can do more damage; you are gentle and soothing, doing your utmost to make it better. When someone comes to you and confesses a trespass, seeking repentance, your duty is to likewise do all you can to promote healing. They are acknowledging their failure, and seeking to be free of whatever has beset them.

When we began tweaking the job qualifications for elders, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to fit the world’s mold rather than God’s ideal is when the foundations began to crack and crumble. The concern wasn’t whether they were men called of God, righteous, and of good reputation; the concern wasn’t whether they met the criteria the Bible sets forth but rather if they had presence and gravitas, if they were easy on the eyes and had a full head of hair. The substance of the man took second place to the form of the man, and their reason for being in ministry was other than the equipping of the saints or the edifying of the body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-16, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the status of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 25 March 2024 | 12:10 pm

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