It is not experience of life but experience of the Cross that makes one a worthy hearer of confessions. The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of men. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother, I can dare to be a sinner.

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer


In business and sports—not to mention other arenas I may be skipping over—it’s not a sin to admit and face your failures.  No, rather the transgression is in avoiding and skirting around it when it’s the elephant in the room no one wants to address.  A small oversight can be the beginning of the end for a prospering business or a successful sports franchise.  Like cancer unchecked—so is our refusal to deal with the reality of a world gone bad that we just happen to live in.  You’d think by the way some of us act that to get touched by it’s consequences (hard as we try to avoid it)—is some sort of huge sin.  And the way we avoid one another when we are drowning only confirms the suspicion—when we do come around, we have the perfect advice.  

Job’s friends thought so.  And to top it off his own wife lost her mind before they even got started on him.

Satan left God and struck Job with terrible sores. Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot. They itched and oozed so badly that he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself, then went and sat on a trash heap, among the ashes.

His wife said, “Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!”

He told her, ‘You’re talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?’

Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God.   (Job 2:7-10, The Message Bible) 

You may whip the world, but you are bound to have people in your life who need you when they are on the other side of the whip—who aren’t as lucky—but instead find themselves the whipped  (and I know some of us think it’s our right living that’s got us sitting pretty and if everyone else would just live like us they’d be honky-dory too). 

There are those (and could just as easily be you or me) in our lives who desperately need the touch of someone who can be broken with them. 

Will you be too together to stoop down and help your fallen brother when he needs it most?