The Wrong Silence


James 5:16a Amplified
Confess to one another therefore your faults
(your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins)
and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed
and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart].

The Lord recently demonstrated to me that some silences are deadly precisely because they nurture unbelief.

I was talking to Carole about my weekend and where I was, spiritually.  And I found myself confessing some doubts and fears to her.  Specifically, I was afraid that several recent experiences of grace were, in actuality, not grace at all.  Since I quit smoking, I’ve had no consistent appetite for the Lord at all.  It comes and goes, and sometimes it’s days and days of absolutely nothing. It’s been such a strange time for me because emotionally I’m just blah.  It’s disconcerting to feel so completely dead one minute, then have enormous joy over someone I’m talking to on the phone, and then feel dead again minutes after hanging up.  I was beginning to believe that I was just a liar and hypocrite, going through the motions without really accessing God’s Love at all.  I mean, how can I possibly access grace when I feel so very ungodly?

The moment I began to speak these doubts and fears to Carole, they dissipated.  They literally lost their legitimacy, became ridiculous, and ceased to hold any sway over my mind.  I had been silently wrestling with them for days, and they were gaining ground fast.  But as soon as I spoke them aloud, to another person, poof!  Only empty accusations with no substance remained.  Grace is the unmerited favor of God.  Hello, McFly!  If I could only access grace when I was feeling good and clean and righteous, then it wouldn’t be grace.  Obvious, no?  But I couldn’t grasp that simple, wonderful truth until I confessed my fear and doubt out loud.

I think we’re encouraged to confess to one another in part because some things MUST be brought to the Light that way to be banished.  And it was instant and easy!  I am so naturally habituated to shame that I struggle to admit the specific doubts and fears that attack me.  I often feel like I’m the only one who wrestles with what my Christian life looks like when it’s walked out.  And that’s ridiculous!

How much of my unbelief grew in the fertile ground of hidden fears?  And all because I didn’t want to admit something to other people!  How often does my pride keep me from accessing spiritual healing and restoration?

I don’t want shame and pride to lock me in mortal combat with sin that is immediately conquered through confession.

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven…
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b KJV

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    • pearl

      Thanks for sharing Jennifer…just was able to do this myself with Martha yesterday…and now I feel clean… after confessing some things I have been intensely working thru with the Lord….I stumbled in my heart but his grace is still there as
      I confess and repent and grab hold of Hymn tighter and He me!! And as she said no matter how I feel or how I wander.I almost kept silent about my sin…but now I am glad I didn’t…

    • Sam

      How beatiful!

      I love your film “geek quotes” (we call them here that way.)
      This “Hello Mcfly!” made me laugh. I feel not so old and geek anymore. 😀

      Amidst organic life, sins (our wanderings and faults) are confessed in a daily basis, and it just flows as natural as breathing. Christ and those things “Christians should do becouse they are in the Bible” can and should be accessed in the most simple, easy way… or not be at all.

      Oh, if the “church” would live on this basis of simpleness!

      If it is hard and difficult, it is proof of warfare between the New and the old, becouse I believe with all my heart the New is easy, plain, simple and just done and beatiful. Jesus is that.

      I believe many of the warfare we experiment is a battle between Jesus (the “unmerited grace” you mentioned) and those “christian merits” the old man looks after.

      At least it is so within my soul.

      Love to you, Jen.

    • Jack

      A friend of mine who was a practicing psychiatrit once told me that”the self is endless”. Getting rid of it doesn’t work for me. Turning from me to Him seems better.

    • Suzette

      This truth never ceases to amaze me! I can look back over my life and recall several major struggles simply disappearing as a result of telling a friend about it. One struggle I shared was my inability to listen well. I had assumed this was an issue I just had to live with- almost like a medical condition. Anyway, I shared it with a friend and began noticing right away I could listen! It is so amazing to see the power of bringing our stuff into the light. Confession is awesome!

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