The Bondage-Breaking Power of James 5:16

by | Mar 23, 2018 | Man

I’ll never forget how I cried out to God for years to get free from something that was controlling me. He (that is God) clearly told me to tell my roommate. I really thought that maybe God was not feeling quite Himself that day. That’s the most insane thing I could have thought of doing (telling someone that I have a problem). I remember arguing a little bit about this but I did it anyway and discovered the power of letting secrets go.

Now let me tell you why the power of letting go of your secrets works to help you begin to get control of whatever is controlling you. As a counselor I see so many people trapped before they disclose what is controlling them.

For years they cry, pray, repent some and even fast, but they still are trapped. As Christians they really cling to 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

This is a great verse, but what this verse promises is that if you confess your sin to God, He will forgive you and cleans you. This is absolutely true, He will forgive you and your relationship with Him is cleaned up of your sin. This verse absolutely promises forgiveness!

Yet, as you know, if you have something that is controlling you again and again in your life, it seems you need more than forgiveness to break the cycle of destruction in your life.

We need to go back a few chapters to James 5:16, “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.”  Now, this Scripture packs a powerful promise.

If we actually tell someone (confessing our faults) we have the promise that we may be healed. Wow, that’s incredible! If we tell another human soul exactly what is going on, we can heal.

Yes, yes, yes, we can heal from what is controlling us!  That’s the great news of God’s Word. The bad news is you and I don’t get to choose the method of healing.

Honestly, I didn’t like it either. I didn’t like the humility and accountability that Paul (my roommate) and others later on had in my life. It’s embarrassing, especially as a man, to admit failure. Yet oddly enough, this is the tool of letting secrets go that God decided to use to heal us of our out of control behavior.

There is a powerful dynamic that goes on when you disclose and let go of your secrets. It’s as if you become more human. So many of us strive to be perfect and yet are faced with our humanity so often falling short of the image we developed of ourselves. Also you become more humble and teachable during this process of disclosure.

Somehow, and I really don’t know how to fully explain it, but when you disclose the darker sides of your humanity you not only begin to accept yourself, but you begin to feel more accepted by others. This all by itself is healing.

Now I don’t know exactly why God chose the process of letting secrets go as a major part of getting control of what is controlling you, but I have a theory. My theory is that I believe God has one major objective in our lives: to make us more Christ-like.

All of our experiences in relationships whether we experience them as good or less than good is to make us more like Christ. Now if we have things that are controlling us and we have to (whether we like it or not or even agree or not) go through a process that grants us humility this is absolutely ingenious of God.

So if you suffer with the dark elements of pride, you will most likely have many things in your life that control you. You may be too proud to disclose your imperfections and darkness so you stay trapped in your own prison. Yet around your own neck is a key to free you out of that self-made prison—and that is disclosure. When you insert disclosure into the lock, the lock opens and you humbly walk free and are actually much better off in your life. {eoa}

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Get A Grip. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at heart2heart@xc.org.

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