What's your secret? What's the one thing no one knows about you?
Jennifer and I went to Kairos tonight. Mike has been doing a series called Six Weeks of Sin and tonight he talked about secrets. My notes are incomplete. Get the whole message here.
Everyone has one, but they don't stay secrets for long. It doesn't matter if you're the president of the United States. You will be found out. Not even King David could keep his sin secret. The prophet Nathan rebuked him and David and his kingdom were torn apart because of it. (2 Samuel 12:11-14)
Maybe you justify it. "This sin isn't hurting anyone but me. Big deal." But truth is like an acid and it eats away at anything. The secret gets hard to carry and you start to think about it all the time, being careful never to hint at it and thus expose yourself. But what you think about moves to your heart and it becomes who you are. And then it becomes what you do. If someone might know your secret, you'll deny it.
When I was little, my dad used to come home from work and empty his pocket change onto the end table in the living room. Being the curious little 7-year-old that I was, I could not resist the shiny gleams of those quarters and nickels and pennies. So one day, I took them. My mom noticed the money was missing and she asked us kids who took it. I was not about to confess in front of my siblings and endure their inevitable teasing. Eventually I broke down into tears and told my mom I had taken the money.
It's interesting why we keep secrets. There are little pieces of ourselves we don't want anyone to know about. Maybe we are afraid they won't want to be our friends anymore if they found out. Or worse, they'll stop loving us. Satan is quick to take advantage of our secrets and convince us that if anyone finds out, our lives will be over. Done for. Finished.
Not really. I mean, it might sting but it won't kill you. 1 John says that if you are faithful to confess your sin, God is eager to forgive. Forgiveness is releasing someone from the expectation that he or she can fix what happened. I wasn't capable of turning back time and un-taking the money, but forgiveness frees me from that and says, "It's OK. You don't have to." Maybe your secret is something awful you did when you were 13. Or what you do when no one is watching. Maybe your secret is something that happened to you.
So what's confession all about? If something was done to me, why should I confess it? Confession isn't placing blame. It's being honest and telling it like it is. It's saying, "This is where I should have been strong, and I wasn't. This is where I should have been brave, but I wasn't." Maybe you can have reconciliation. Maybe you can't. But there is still forgiveness. You're free. This doesn't have to tie you down anymore.
Secrets can be scary. When I stole my dad's coins, I didn't want him or my mom to find out what I had done. I suppose I feared punishment and ridicule. Maybe there's something you don't want Jesus to find out. Something horrible that might make Him change His mind about you. But Jesus already knows. And He loves you. He is eager to forgive. Let it go.
Oh, how He loves.