Daily Devotional–Wednesday, May 5, 2021
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16, NLT)
Many of us value having others pray for us. We desire to live our lives in a manner that pleases God. We want our prayers to possess great power and wonderful results. However, the idea of “confess your sins to each other”…? We’d rather just make our confessions to God and call it a day. We don’t want others to know our dirty little secrets and, truth be told, we’re not overly keen on dealing with someone else’s either. As a result, I would dare say, that confession to one another is rarely practiced by most believers. Sure, there are small confessions that we may feel relatively comfortable confessing, like exceeding the speed limit when we drive; after all, aren’t most of us guilty of speeding at times. But what of the sins we deem big?
Recently, an individual in our denomination confessed to a sin considered egregious by most. The wrongdoing confessed happened almost forty year ago. When I first heard the news, I found myself thinking many judgmental thoughts…Why did it take so long to come out? What was prompting this confession—true repentance or the fear of being outed? Who else knew and said nothing? But in the midst of these thoughts, I was reminded of the fact that God is the judge; no one is without sin; and I needed to forgive others if I wish to experience Christ’s forgiveness for the wrong things I have done.
What was done was wrong, but the act of ‘coming clean’ may very well be an indication of the Holy Spirit’s work in this individual’s life. Swallowing our pride, seeing our reputations wrecked, allowing the glare of the public spotlight to shine on our hidden sins requires a great deal of humility. And forty years is a long time to live with a guilty conscience! Because I am not in a position to act as an earthly judge or heavenly Judge, it is not my role to pronounce judgement or penalty. I am called to forgive, to pray and to confess my own sins.
Will this individual have consequences to face for having publicly repented? Absolutely. However, it’s not my job to stand on the sideline wagging my finger or condemning the secret sin that has now been dug up for all to see. It’s time to look at the mirror and make certain that I too am not harbouring secret sins that I will also be called upon to repent of in the public arena. So, today, rather than being judgmental, I choose to be forgiving and pray that God will continue the work he has begun.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!