There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
Luke 12: 2-3 NIV
When I was a child, I was ready to make my profession of faith and to join the local church. There was just one problem: confessing my sins. I knew that in order to be forgiven and saved, I had to confess my sins. I also knew when you joined my church, you had to fill out a card before being presented for membership and baptism. In my mind, the two things were combined. I expected to have to list my sins on that card. As a 9-year-old, I didn’t have a lot of sins to confess. However, my mother was the church clerk. And the idea of writing down everything for her to read was too much for me. I was not ready to tell my mom everything!
I think most of us are very comfortable with our lives, past and present, as long as we can keep certain things hidden. While there may not be huge and terrible secrets in our past, there are usually secrets. Life might be a bit uncomfortable if the secrets were uncovered. In our community, we have seen the effects of uncovering the past for all to view. Few of us would want to be judged by the actions we demonstrated as adolescents or teenagers. I look back at my attitudes and actions as a know-it all young adult and so grateful that I’ve grown beyond those.
Very few of us intend to have secrets. Those actions have a way of sneaking up on us. You “test the water” and you don’t get into immediate trouble and there’s a minimum of guilt, maybe even a little bit of excitement. The next time you venture a little further and then a little further. We believe the lies that it won’t hurt us, or God would want us to have fun, or we just DESERVE to be happy. Much like Eve when she listened to the serpent twist what God said, we just touch the apple. When we don’t drop dead, we go further. Then, to make our secret even better, we share with others and encourage them to join us. And one thing piles on top of another until we are hiding, afraid of the consequences.
Secrets are often used as weapons for revenge. Gossips adore secrets and the failures they often hide. Instead of confessing and moving forward, we cower and avoid the very people who should and could help us move forward. Because we have heard and maybe participated in gossip, we fear being the newest topic. We cringe at the realization that others will take great joy in our pain.
King David of the Old Testament is an example of having all laid bare. He was chosen to be king as a teen. David’s youth and exuberance made him popular and caused King Saul to want to kill him. All through the scriptures, we are able to see David’s victories. But, we are also privy to many of his failings. David committed adultery. And his attempts to keep that a secret led to the death of Uriah. I have to wonder, how many people put the pieces together after he took Bathsheba as his wife? Were there whispers? When Absalom decided to take his father’s kingdom, did David’s dirty laundry get bandied about and discussed?
I would challenge you to sit down and make a list of every thing in your life that “might” be an issue. Can you remember every detail from your earliest years? Are you willing to discuss these items with those that you love? It’s not an easy challenge and this kind of transparency can be emotionally charged especially if you thing some things are better kept silent. What secrets are you hiding? Is your secret the very act of gossip? Can you admit to yourself that you are one of the “concerned” individuals that feels the need to share new information at the expense of a brother or sister in Christ?
My nine-year old sins were not huge. I had lied to my mother about some vaccinations that were given at school when I was a first grader. I had thrown a fit and the nurse had given up getting me to take my smallpox and polio vaccines. My teacher had told me to be sure and tell my mom. I was not about to tell my mom. She would take me to the clinic and have them give me those shots immediately! When all my other friends had scabs on their arms from their vaccine, Mother did find out about the smallpox vaccination. She asked me if that was all I had missed and I told her yes. And, we had to go to the clinic TWICE before my smallpox vaccine took. And, 3 years later, I still didn’t want to admit my lie. It ate at me. Not the lie itself, but the consequences if my mother found out. What a relief when I found out that only my name, address and birthday were filled in on that little card. Did my mom ever find out about the missed polio vaccination? I don’t know for sure. But, I know that hiding it was not a good decision on my part.
Is there something in your past that you just don’t want to face?