Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. (James 5:16 NRSV)
Wayne Rouse, in Astoria, Illinois was surprised to hear a news story about a new 900 phone number. It's called (are you ready for this) "Mr. Apology." "Some clever capitalist," says Rouse, "has figured out how to make a buck because we feel guilty." The story said that "Mr. Apology" gets more than a hundred phone calls a day. What people do is leave their anonymous apology with the answering machine or listen to apologies of others without ever having to deal with the real damage they did to another human being. They can now dump that garbage without any real accountability.

That's a handy system. It would not pay off for its originator if there were not so many people carrying around so much guilt. Guilt may be the most serious undiscussed problem in our society. There are people who are lying in hospital rooms today because of unresolved guilt. There are marriages coming apart because of secrets that are gnawing away at husbands and wives. There are people who are engaged in all kinds of destructive behavior because they do not know how to heal the past.

For free, all we really have to do is can confess sins to God.

Loving God, forgive me for the hurt I have given to others. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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