Question ONE: Week Four Devotional James 5:16 Welcome to Workshop 4. This week we deal with the challenges of sin and confession. Many of the early psychologists blamed “religion” and its emphasis on sin for people’s psychological difficulties. This resulted in their rejection of religion in their theories and in their working with people (Schregardus, 2007). However, some of today’s counselors are being trained in not only the bio-psycho-social aspect of one’s life, but also the spiritual. This holistic approach is important for helping others as it is often difficult to know where one aspect begins and ends in one’s life. We have been created as whole beings by God and to compartmentalize these aspects can mean missing something important. As Christians, we definitely want to include the spiritual which means dealing with sinful areas in one’s life and seeing the importance of confession in the healing process. Many of the Protestant denominations do not emphasize confession to others, whereas the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches encourage confession to the priest. Some feel they go too far by allowing the priest to give forgiveness when only God can forgive. Yet we have this passage in James regarding the confession of sins to one another. Sometimes when one is counseling another, the client will confess his/her sin(s) which may be blocking his/her ability to be healed. Focus Questions: 1. Without breaking confidentiality, have you ever had someone confess his/her sins to you? 2. If so, how did you feel when this happened? If not, how do you think you would feel? 3. As a people helper, how would you respond to a client who confesses something that is against what God desires of us?