by Rick Warren — August 8, 2023
From Better Together
“Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
James 5:16 (TLB)
The fastest way to build community is through admitting your 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 your feelings, your faults, and your fears.
You get emotional healing. The Bible says in James 5:16, “Admit your faults to one another 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.
You get 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” (TLB).
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.”
You get God’s power to change. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor” (James 4:10 NLT).
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.
You get deeper fellowship. The Bible says, “But if we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7 GNT).
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! The more honest you are, the more people like you and want to be with you.
Many people 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.