“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
At one level it seems like an easy question to answer: Who knows me? The answer is probably lots of people! Family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances—even our hairdressers, mechanics, and baristas.
But the question, and its answer, take on a new dimension of meaning and importance when we add one small word to the end: Who knows me—really?
Who knows me warts and all? Who knows me inside and out? Who do I have no secrets from? Who am I totally open and honest with?
The passages from James and 1 John above challenge us to have people in our lives who really know us. Of course, God alone knows us completely; He knows our hearts (1 Sam. 16:17), knows our innermost thoughts (Ps. 139:2). And of course, if we’re married our spouse is to be our most intimate companion; we are literally in a ‘one-flesh’ union (Gen. 2:24). We don’t violate that oneness by developing emotional and spiritual intimacy with another person of the opposite sex. But the principle remains:
we need people in our lives who we can be completely open and honest with. We need to “walk in the light” (1 Jn. 1:7). Not with all, but at least with some.
There is an older man in my life who I have come to know very well and trust completely, and who I can share with regarding every area of my life. He knows and loves Jesus, and He knows and loves me. I can safely confess sin to him and he surely points me to the God who is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9).
Now, my point in this short reflection is not to say Growth Groups are the place where this can or even should happen. Growth Groups—weekly small groups where members of BPCC dig into the Bible together, pray together, and care for each other—are not necessarily designed for this kind of deep, life-on-life living in the light. But perhaps they can be the springboard that will launch you on a trajectory towards deeper relationships. Deep, open, honest relationships don’t happen overnight. It takes time and work to build trust, openness and mutual love. All I’m saying is that maybe the first step is to involve yourself in a group of people where the Bible is foundational, prayer is essential, and care is given. Like the saying goes: You gotta start somewhere. And friends, somewhere is better than nowhere.
Grace and peace,