"Confessing sin regularly will make others more receptive to the message we bring. Often we think that if we confess our inner secrets to others, we will lose credibility in their eyes. Many have found, however, that the opposite is true. When we have the courage to confess our inadequacies, we often gain credibility in the eyes of others because we demonstrate humility, honesty, courage, and a willingness to take sin and righteousness seriously. We are seen as authentic, brave, and most of all human. This will tend to raise us in stature, not tear us down. It is important to make our confessions in a safe place where confidentiality is a value, but often our fears of exposure are unwarranted. On the other hand, when there is not confession, often there is suspicion and hypocrisy. People know that humans are fallible. When we pretend not to have faults, it raises suspicion not credibility."
(Search and Rescue by Neil Cole, pp 108.)I think Neil Cole is on to something here. James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Cole, I think correctly, urges some caution, that confession be done "in a safe place where confidentiality is a value", but that can easily become an excuse to hide behind. What if we began to pray for the Lord to give us such a safe place, a group of like-minded people? What if we began to act like He answers those prayers and began to try to initiate these types of relationship? We could unleash the power of authenticity, confession, and prayer in our own lives. May the Lord give us the courage to do so.