Today's Devotional: Carelessness (Part 3)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 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 5:13-16 ESV).

Remember where we started a few days ago? My table saw won the brief battle with my hand when I was careless and lost focus for a moment. After the injury all three of my sons asked me if I was using the push-gripper they had given me for my birthday. As you can see from the picture, had I been doing so, there would not have been any injury. I sheepishly answered all of them, “No.” David simply responded, “Course not.” Well, he was right. I had all the tools and provisions at my fingertips. I knew better. I simple presumed that I was better than needing the gripper. Believe me, that didn’t work out well for me.

All the way to the ER, in between asking Mary to please hurry, I was whispering to myself how stupid and careless I had been! Well, the same happens often in our spiritual journey. We often become content with whispering our sin to God, confessing how careless we had become. That is good. James offers us something more in our reading today. He says: “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (v. 16). There is a release and healing that flows from confessing not only to God in the secret place of your heart, but also to a trusted friend, or to the person you have offended. The tender words, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” are one of the surest paths to overcome our carelessness.

So, my call to you is that, even while we go on wrestling with baffling corruption, pray. Therefore the focus here is on praying for power: “Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me.” I believe we can experience complete triumph over presumptuous sin, and that presumptuous sinning must cease to be the characteristic of our lives. God calls us to this. He gives us the power for it through the Holy Spirit. Find that trusted friend who will help you with your challenging habit. With God’s grace, we can make it our aim to live blameless and innocent of great transgressions. You can avoid those injuries resulting from simple carelessness.

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