Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed…. — James 5:16
I remember how glad I was when I finally admitted that Satan was trying to drive a lie into my head! Even though I knew that the lie I was hearing was untrue, the devil wouldn’t let up. He just kept pounding my mind hard and fast, one blow after another, as he tried to batter his way into my head and take my thinking captive.
I was too embarrassed to share with anyone else the stupid thought that was trying to take me hostage, so I tried to handle it on my own for a long time. Finally, I thought I would break under the assault that was bombarding my mind and emotions. The lie was beginning to affect how I viewed myself, penetrating and manipulating my mind to think poorly of myself. So in obedience to James 5:16, I went to a friend and told him what the devil was trying to make me believe. The moment I confessed the lie, it was as if an over-inflated balloon had just popped. The power that lie had held in my mind simply dissipated once I admitted to a friend what I was hearing!
I’m not recommending that you go from person to person, blabbing about all your faults. But if you experience a time of real need in your life when the devil is assaulting your mind and emotions, you might need to go to your spouse, a good friend, a brother or sister in the Lord, your pastor, or your parent and confess: “I need someone to help me! I’m being attacked in my mind, and I need someone to speak to me and to tell me the truth!”
In James 5:16, the Bible commands us, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed….” The word “confess” is the Greek word ekzomologeo, a word that means to declare, to say out loud, to exclaim, to divulge, or to blurt. I particularly like the last meaning — to blurt.
You see, sometimes it’s hard to confess the wrong thoughts that are rolling through your mind. Even though you know you need to confess and thus destroy what the devil is trying to tell you, it can be embarrassing and humiliating to be so honest. Perhaps you’ve tried to admit these things before to someone, but each time you retreat back into silence because you can’t bear the idea of anyone knowing that you ever entertained such foolish thoughts!
It’s time for you to get bold! Go find a friend in whom you can confide — one who will not repeat what you tell him or her. Tell that person you have something you need to confess. If you feel yourself pulling back, just go ahead and blurt it out! Once you say it, you’ll be done with it. Then the agony of telling someone will be over, and you’ll be on the road to freedom!
But what are the parameters of what we are to confess to each others? James 5:16 goes on to define what we are to confess. It says, “Confess your faults.…” The word “faults” is the Greek word paraptoma, which describes a falling in some area of one’s life. That “falling” may be an actual falling into sin, or it may be a tripping up in the way one thinks. Either way, this word refers to a person who has fallen, failed, erred, or made some kind of mistake. One Greek translator says it can also denote a person who has accidentally bumped into something or one who has accidentally swerved or turned amiss and has thus thought something or done something that is erroneous.
This perfectly describes what had happened to me that time when my mind was being harassed with those distracting thoughts. The devil was pounding away at my head, and I was starting to believe the lie! As a result, it was affecting me; I was even starting to produce failure in that part of my life. I had bumped into a mental lie that was about to knock me off my feet and cause me to make some very erroneous decisions in my life!
I think of others who were harassed in their minds and never confessed it to anyone. Because they were not able to conquer those lies by themselves and yet were too proud to confess it to anyone else, these people eventually became enslaved by the lie and ended up doing some very regrettable things. If only they had confessed their faults to a godly friend who loved them, they could have been liberated from the lie and the actions that followed.
When you blurt out those destructive lies to a trustworthy friend, your confession is often the very thing that throws that lying spirit off you. As long as you keep those lies secretly hidden away in your mind and soul, they will continue to have the power to hold you hostage. But the day you expose them to the light of day, those lies will begin to lose their power over you!
You may be afraid to confess what you’ve been experiencing because in the past, something you shared privately wasn’t held in confidence. That memory is Satan’s ploy to keep you all tied up. But you must forgive those who betrayed your confidence and go get the help you need right now. Get that lie out of the darkness! Bring it into the light so it can dissipate and lose its power over your mind and emotions.
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I thank You for speaking to my heart today about confessing the things that are secretly bothering me. It is no secret to You that I have been struggling with fear, insecurity, and temptation. You know that I desperately need someone to stand with me in faith and to assure me that everything is going to be all right. Help me to know exactly to whom I should go to discuss what is disturbing me — someone who will be faithful to hold what I say in confidence. Once I confess this burden and get it off my heart, please let this be the very act that sets in motion the power to liberate me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that I have friends who are trustworthy and in whom I can confide when Satan is trying to pound my mind with his lies. I do not fear that friends will laugh at me or repeat what I tell them. They will stand with me, speak the truth to me, and help me step out of the darkness and into the light. My confession will break Satan’s vice grip on my mind and bring wholeness and soundness of thinking to my soul!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Have you ever gone to someone and confessed something that was secretly bothering you? Once you finally blurted out to someone what you’d been struggling with, what effect did it have on you?
2. Are you the kind of person that people can confide in when they are being inwardly harassed? Do they consider you to be faithful and confidential, or would they be concerned that you might repeat what they told you?
3. Has the enemy been bombarding your mind with his lies lately? If so, who is the one person to whom you’d most like to confess this inward harassment?