Only Sinners Can Relate
"Get into the habit of admitting your sins to one another; so that you can pray for one another so that you may be healed."1
Em Griffin, in his book, The Mind Changers, says about today's Scripture: "This is the most ignored bit of advice I know of in Scripture, probably because we're afraid that people won't like us or trust us when they see how crummy we really are. But the reverse is true. They've got the same sin problem. As we openly reveal our innermost struggles, the plastic masks we wear begin to slip. Human warmth escapes and people begin to respond in trust."
As Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the U.S. Senate, said, "Only sinners can relate.
"Sinners enjoy authentic fellowship. Saints don't!
"People who pose as saints aren't liberated to remove their masks.
"Under pressure to project conventional piety, they are unable to open up and share themselves.
"Upholding the traditional religious image, they remain invulnerable in human relationships because they dare not expose their real selves.
"They major in propositions rather than persons ... share their victories but never their failures ... congratulate one another in their little mutual admiration society.
"Meeting head to head instead of heart to heart, protecting themselves against discovery, they ricochet against each other like marbles.
"The authentic saint is oblivious to his sainthood, deeply aware of his unworthiness, sensitive to his failure, confesses he is a sinner, which makes possible true fellowship.
"Sinners acknowledge their inadequacy, lean heavy on God's grace, and identify quickly with need in others.
"Recognizing all men are sinners, unwilling to hide from the truth, they share their weaknesses, confess their sin to one another, and do not fear vulnerability.
"They come together like crushed grapes, crushed and fragrant, dependent upon each other and God."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be open and honest with at least one trusted friend with whom I feel safe to confess my sins, faults and failures, so that I can experience true connection and fellowship, and be healed as Your Word promises. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
*NOTE: Today's Daily Encounter is taken from I Hate Witnessing—A Handbook for Effective Christian Communications, by Dick Innes, pp. 63-64 (2003 edition). Available at: www.actscom.com/store.
1. James 5:16 (Phillips and NIV).