I came upon this gem while studying the book of James.
"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," (James 5:16, ESV).
Here is a wonderful paraphrase of this verse.
"Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with," (James 5:16, MSG).
I think it is interesting that my Bible concordance translates the word confess to mean "to acknowledge openly and joyfully."
James is telling us to openly and joyfully acknowledge to one another our weakness, our lack, our inadequacy, and our challenges with getting it right. And then he admonishes us to pray for one another's weakness, lack, inadequacy, and challenges with getting it right. How wonderful it would be if we all would live out James' teaching. The result of doing so offers the opportunity for people to live together healed and whole. But, sadly, many of us find this very difficult to do because we fear vulnerability.
I understand the importance of using wisdom when sharing personal issues with others. But I think there should be a right time, a right place, and a right person when, where, and with whom each of us can find this space of trust. This provision would be available if each of us would allow God to develop us into becoming people from whom others can seek prayerful guidance without barrier or judgement. But it requires vulnerability. If we ask Him, God will help us overcome fear of vulnerability and give us the wisdom needed to seek help from others as well as lead others.
I am blessed to have found this for myself more than once. God has placed people in my life with whom I am able to speak freely who have offered back a voice of prayerful and right perspective. The result for me has been as the Apostle James said it would be. Because I could speak of my weakness without fear, I found the wise counsel needed to gain freedom from my confusion, and I have learned how to live healed and whole among those around me. And because someone offered me a safe place to heal I am now able to lead others to healing and wholeness.
To be joyfully vulnerable is the wonder of life gifting.