I love to play videogames. It is a hobby and passion that has not gone away with age. I can remember being a young child and being filled with excitement just by reading a gaming magazine. A new game being released was like Christmas to me. Many times, back then, I would play a game and then start to get bored with it. I would then search out cheat codes and ways to have extra fun with the game or to simply get past impossible parts of the game. Games back then were more difficult than they are now—I recall.
The idea of using cheat codes to complete difficult games was intuitive to me. It was logical and necessary some times. As a Christian therapist, I have recognized that God has given us “cheats” in the form of the Bible. These “cheats” help to carry the believer through the difficult and devastating aspects of this life, caused by sin. God’s word teaches us about the power of forgiveness, the importance of being indwelt by His Spirit, how to avoid sexual sin, how to avoid self-centeredness through sacrifice and caring for others. His laws are good! God’s word is a large book of codes to help us manage the pitfalls and enemies of this life. It is more than that, however. His word empowers us and levels us up through wisdom.
One of the biggest stories in the Christian community right now is regarding Ravi Zacharias. I wouldn’t be honest if I hid the devastation and disappointment that I feel about the conclusions of his ministry’s investigation. Impropriety sums it up for my purpose here. I want to use this revelation as a launch pad for discussing how to avoid living a fractured life of hidden sin.
One of the greatest aspects of being a Christian is the freedom to be authentic, for the Christian has willingly acknowledged sinfulness before God and the need for Jesus’ sacrifice. There is tremendous humility in simply becoming a Christian. This humility can be quickly lost, however, as pride, image, and concealment appear. This is when our lives start to fracture, when we want people to see only parts of who we are and not the entirety. What is God’s remedy for this? I believe God’s remedy (or cheat code) is community and confession, bundled together. Confession without community has no accountability. Community without confession is maintaining a false image. When they are together, they are powerful tools to avoid many pitfalls.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
The context of his passage is within deep community. When we confess our sins or faults to one another, we are actively tearing down our own image before self and others. This may seem contrary to self-esteem, and it is. It is a way of esteeming Christ and not our flesh, because our flesh is weak and capable of the most gruesome and devastating things. When left alone. Confessing within a community is the remedy because we are inviting accountability, we are tearing down false images (He’s perfect and doesn’t have any issues. She’s got it all together. They only struggle with little things. Their marriage is perfect. He is so spiritually mature. She’s so godly.), and we are staying humble.
Here's what you need to do today:
Either this will be your lifestyle, or concealment and image will. Through confession and community, I believe God has given us a way to flush out personal toxins and impurities. We willingly do these things because the consequences of avoiding them are too high.