"Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16
Living in the canyon has equal amounts of pleasant and not so pleasant times. The quiet is always a welcome relief after being in town, and the Milky Way is brilliant on moonless nights, yet living in the wilderness means there are wild animals in the area. Generally cohabitation with most of them isn't a problem. But there is certainly the need to be ever mindful of the ones that could be dangerous, so I'm always keeping a wary eye out for them. I know the ones that might cause injury or harm to me or my animals and would prefer to avoid them.
On a recent evening when I opened the back door to feed my animals, I immediately closed it. The little skunk who thinks she ought to be our friend was inspecting the dogs dish for food. I quietly reopened the door and watched as she peaceably left the deck. She obviously doesn't feel nearly as threatened by my presence as I do by hers. I waited until I was sure she had returned to her post under the shed before I fed my cats, and left the porch light on as a reminder to little Miss Skunk to stay away. We had already had a smelly incident earlier in the week, and I didn't want another. Some animal had died on the far end of the driveway and had been decomposing for awhile before we discovered it.
Both were stinky reminders to me of something much different than you'd expect.
In the Bible study group my husband and I attend weekly, we've been looking at the importance of confessing our sins/struggles with one another. We've all been called to accountability as believers, not only to share our struggles, but to pray for one another. I think it is a very good practice. However, I find as the "old woman" in the group, I sometimes feel as though I shouldn't share on a deep level. Right or wrong, it's been my struggle. I can easily share the victories the Lord has brought into my life, but sharing the struggles is less appealing. It shows areas of my weaknesses, and can make me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. But God wants us to share so we can be unburdened and allow others the joy of coming alongside to help us. He will use whatever means necessary to keep us humbly seeking His face.
For me, it was the combination of the three experiences which revealed my stubborn and prideful sin. Finally God broke through my resisting wall and helped me share candidly with someone. It was liberating and brought tears of relief. Much like the skunk and the decomposing animal on my driveway, my frustration with situations out of my control had become stinky and it was affecting my attitude. Once I shared where I was struggling the most, it was as though God left the porch light on and reminded me I need to dwell in the light continually. That means honestly confessing things to keep them from festering and stinking up my ministry.
And there you have it, the "scent"sitive subject of accountability.
Don't get skunked by the lie that says we're strong enough to handle things on our own. We're not. God gave us one another to help us complete the journey unburdened and free. May He help you recognize the stinky areas in your life and grant you freedom from them as you confess them to the body of Christ.
To Him be all the glory.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and jst to forgive us our sins and ot cleanse us from all unrighteousness."1 John 1:19