Book review: Permission to Speak Freely

This book is about confession.  It’s based on the principle set out in James 5 where it says, “confess your sins one to another, that you may be healed.”  The author, Anne Jackson was inspired to write it when she posted a question on her blog, ‘what is the one thing you feel you can’t say in church?’ She was overwhelmed by the response ranging from confession of mistakes made to abuse received to questions that you’re not supposed to ask if you’re a Christian.  However people responded, it all amounted to one thing: people were afraid to speak the truth in what should be the safest environment to be real.  Instead, people were using her blog to come clean about stuff they had been carrying for years.  Feeling that they couldn’t talk about their problem made them even more problem.  That is why it says, “confess your sins that you may be healed.”  Not ‘forgiven’ or ‘judged.’  There is healing in confession, in taking off the mask.

This is not a self-help book.  It doesn’t give 10 steps to a whole and healthy life or 5 ways to be perfect.  Anne simply confesses.  Her story.  Her pain.  Her weakness.  And in doing so makes it a little easier for the rest of us to do the same.


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