Monday night I sat in a circle with twenty or so other women. We went around the circle like we did every week; we shared our struggles, our victories, our worries, our grief. When a person was done talking, we all say in unison: “Thank you for sharing.” And we mean it too. It’s not easy sharing your sin struggles, your flaws, your biggest fears to anyone, especially strangers. But how freeing it is to put everything out in the open, expecting reprimand or judgment, only to receive a stranger’s hug or a tissue from the person half-way across the circle to wipe the tears that you couldn’t hold back anymore. But why? Why spill your guts? Why risk it all? Why bother? Life seems to carry on alright with everyone wearing masks, why be the one to be honest?
Because there is nothing greater than knowing you are not alone.
This Monday in the circle was life-changing. The girl sitting next to me started to talk and she shared her struggle. My heart jumped to my throat. her struggle was my struggle. Everything she said out loud were things I had only said in my head. She was literally inside my head throwing it all out there. I just wanted to cry and hug her. When she finished talking, she exhaled deeply, like a 100lb. weight had been removed. If she hadn’t been honest, I would have spent another week feeling alone, and she would have too. And that would have been another week, where the Enemy could continue to convince us of lies. God doesn’t love you. How could he? You’re alone. No one else struggles. don’t tell anyone or you’re going to lose them.
It’s all lies. There is freedom when you confess your sins. there is healing when you confess your sins (James 5:16).
We are all works in progress, with kinks, rough edges, and broken pieces. We are not perfect. God knew that from the beginning. He isn’t shocked, confused or disappointed in You. He knew exactly what He was doing. Jesus came to die for sinners. That’s all of us. Every person, no matter how good-looking or famous they are, they are as messed up as the rest of us.
So, Christians, stop pretending. If you’re having a really rough time, tell someone. If you’ve been struggling with an addiction, confess that to a person that you love and trust. Let them love you, the real you. take that mask off, be honest next time a good friend asks how you’re doing. Allow them to love you where you’re at. Cause guess what? That’s where healing begins. And guess what? God knows everything you’ve ever done and will do, He still loves you. That perfect love casts out all fear. We boast not in ourselves cause we fail daily, but we boast in God because He loves sinners like us.
Christians, if a friend comes to you and confesses something to you.
1) Listen. listen. listen.
Don’t cut them off. Don’t interject advice right away. Just let them get it all out.
2) Thank them for sharing.
It’s scary. Let them know you appreciate the courage and the trust they must have in you to tell you what they did.
3) Tell them you love them.
Their worst fear is that you now love them less, or don’t want to be around them anymore. They have that fear with God too. You have an amazing opportunity to be God with clothes on. Tell them you love them because you do. Tell them God loves them too. Just remind them that they are so loved.
4)Pray with them.
James 5:16 says that when we confess our sins and pray for one another there is healing. Especially if you don’t know what to say or how to respond. Just offer to pray for them right there, and let the Holy Spirit guide your words.
5) pray for them.
Their healing journey has begun. And that’s a big deal! Praise God! Continually pray for your friend and for God’s healing and restoration in their lives.
Praying for you guys.
take that mask off.