“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Concerned about ourselves, concerned about the world, those seem to be the two main attributes of the Christian today, not the things of God. The concern of self is rarely that in which they want God to see them as, but the perception of what the desire others to see in them, we cover ourselves in lies to impress people, to garner attention, to divert them away from the reality of who we are, men and women of the Most High, saved sinners who still battle the flesh every day.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James 5:16 does not happen as it should, for we fear the reprisals of even those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. You cannot bear each other’s burdens if you do not tell each other about them. This is in part why after service social gatherings were invented, to get to know personally those who are a part of the family of God. I have attended many of these, and if there is one thing I know, it is that personal issues rarely if ever enter into any of the conversations, nor do topics that relate to the Scriptures.
Nothing eternal, nothing profitable, only those passing items of the world.
They are termed “embarrassing situations,” and even the telling of them causes the hearer to feel embarrassed, and so no faults are revealed, no burdens are brought to the conversation, just lite hearted banter so everyone in attendance will remain comfortable. I am not sure if this can be categorized as a sin or not, but I do know this, the body of Christ in that congregation will never grow as intended, they will remain strangers of the heart to each other.
“Jerry, how’s that battle with pornography going? Stand up and tell us how the Holy Spirit has been helping you in this area.” Can you even envision a pastor saying those words before a Sunday morning service, have you ever heard of an assembly of believers that are that close together, ones who know of each other’s burdens, trials and temptations, that speak openly of them, that pray in earnest for each other on any and all matters?
“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numb. 32:23)
Not if we can help it.
The battles against the flesh, against the wiles of the devil are fought in secret, rarely are they announced to others, and then only after years of trusted friendship, and then only in passing conversation, as if these sins are a lite matter, an inconvenience. “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” (Luke 12:3)
I offered assistance in the matter of the sin of pornography, of the lust of the flesh to a group of ten or twelve men sitting around a table on a Monday night Bible study, having been immersed in it for many years myself, and receiving the blessing of the Lord in deliverance from it. The only sound I heard was the silence of the room, and the clock ticking in the background. You cannot bear each other’s burdens if you do not reveal those burdens to each other, you cannot offer fervent prayers for each other if you are not aware of what to pray for.
It is a good letter, an instructive letter, filled with wisdom and truth from the Holy Spirit, but I fear it will not be applied in the lives of those who read it. The subject matter is far too personal, far too embarrassing, and because of that the body of Christ suffers. Most will continue to seek the praise of men instead of the things of God, pretending that everything is alright, that life is full of the joy and wonder of the Lord.
Perhaps you believe that His chastisement will be easier to bear. You would be mistaken in that.