Why does being honest about our mistakes, our feelings, our faults and our fears build community faster than anything else?
“Admit your faults to one other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a TLB)
There’s a secret ingredient that builds community faster than anything else: admitting our mistakes. But why in the world would anybody risk honesty? Because it’s worth the risk. God says there are four benefits of being honest about our mistakes, our feelings, our faults and our fears.
1. Emotional Healing
The Bible says in James 5:16, “Admit your faults to one other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (TLB).
There is a big difference between forgiveness and emotional healing. If you need forgiveness for something in your life, all you need to do is confess it to God. Emotional healing comes from telling somebody else.
2. A Fresh Start
Proverbs 28:13 says, “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.”
One of the most helpful things you can do in your small group is help people forgive themselves. A lot of people need somebody to say, “You’ve admitted it to God? Then you are forgiven. You’ve confessed it? Then you are forgiven. Let it go.”
3. God’s Power to Change
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor” (James 4:10 NLT, second edition).
How does this work? The Bible says that God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. God’s grace is the power to change. When you get God’s grace, you can change the things you’ve always wanted to change in your life. But it only comes through humility, and humility comes through honesty.
4. Deeper Fellowship
The Bible says, “If we live in the light — just as he is in the light — then we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7a TEV).
We think that if we’re open about our fears, hang-ups, imperfections, and secret faults, people are going to think less of us. The opposite is true! Actually the more honest you are, the more people like you and want to be with you.
Many of you have realized, “My life is messed up. I’ve got some serious hang-ups, habits, bad responses, and bad relationships. There’s no way I could admit to all of the bad stuff in my life.”
God wants to turn your hurt into healing. Then he wants to use you in the lives of other people. He’s just waiting for you to surrender.
Talk It Over
- Is it sometimes harder to admit your mistakes to people within God’s family? Why do you think this is so?
- What are the things that you need to accept forgiveness for so that you can move forward to emotional healing?
- What does it mean to “live in the light”?
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