Community, Part Two
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Being a Christian does not mean having everything figured out. God’s prescription for many of our ailments is community, and I’ve already written about the function of community that is like a mirror, using others to let us see how mixed up, broken, and just plain ugly we can be. Another important aspect of healthy community is its reaction to brokenness.
James wrote in his letter to all Christians that confession and prayer with others is a solution to sickness and sinfulness. This idea is pretty terrifying if you really consider applying it. The things that really need healing are those things that are most shameful. Confessing things like addiction, anger, and unforgiveness to another human is a scary thing, but these are also the things that need prayer and outside help to get through.
I think it’s pretty devious that leaving these things untreated causes them to become more shameful as they get worse, only making it harder to confess as the need for confession becomes more desperate. The only way to break this cycle is to trust God that it really can be good and safe to process your deep issues with other believers. My hope is that Christian communities are growing where it is safe to go deep with others.