Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 22, 2018
Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16, The Living Bible
We cannot know ourselves by ourselves, we require the grace and truth of other loving relationships that reveal who we are and how we need to change for the good. I was reminded of this recently in our couples small group. My temperament looks for ways to be glad and not sad, yet the realities of life offer ongoing opportunities for hard, even heartbreaking experiences. I was called out by my group of friends for glossing over gloomy events. Only after I admit my faults, am I able to confess them to Christ and others for forgiveness, healing and transformation. Through this process of transparency, I truly understand who I am and who I need to become.
Very insightfully, James describes the power of knowing ourselves and being known by others. The outcome of honest confession and prayer is healing. The application of healing can include the physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and relational. Wow, what a simple, difficult process, with life changing results! The body is strengthened when sin is admitted, emotions grow self-aware, the soul is at rest, the mind is renewed not confused, and relationships grow in intimacy. Prayer goes to another level of effectiveness when people are honest about their imperfections.
“ man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance” (Proverbs 28:13, The Living Bible).
If your only understanding of yourself is yourself—you are a target for the devil’s half truths and deceptions. Isolated thinking can ignore who you really are in Christ—condemn you on one hand and exalt you above correction on the other extreme. It’s only when you look into the Scripture and, like viewing into a mirror, see growth by God’s grace with scattered pockets of pride in need of humility’s exposure. You grow to better know yourself when you reveal your vulnerable self.
Do you feel known by those who know you the best? If not, share with them your struggles and fears, listen to their hopes and dreams, and seek to know others at the core of who they are—the good, the bad and the ugly. When you are brave enough to bare your soul, you give others permission and courage to reveal their flaws. When you take the time to process your pain, you free your heart from anger and resentment. Like a splinter needing extraction from the flesh, removing the source of your pain may cause more pain—but then real relief. Be bold to know and be known.
“I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14).
PrayerHeavenly Father, give me the courage to make myself known to those who love me and to earnestly and empathetically seek to know them.
ApplicationWhat area of pain in my heart needs to be processed in prayer and with friends??
Related ReadingRomans 12:16; Hebrews 10:24; Ephesians 4:2, 32; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Post/Tweet todayLike a splinter needing extraction from the flesh, removing the source of your pain may cause more pain---but then real relief. #knowandbeknown #wisdomhunters
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