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Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekly Snippet: What Is Done in Secret

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?  For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open." --Mark 4: 21, 22 NIV 2011
 I have always strongly believed that we should not try to keep dirty little secrets, because God sees everything, and often rips off the curtain to reveal to the world the real man behind the facade.  I can't count the number of times in my childhood that I thought I had gotten away with something, only to have it somehow "get out."  Who told my mother to check inside the ceramic figurine on my dresser to find my secret midnight candy stash?  How did she figure out that after she tucked me in for the night, I was getting up and reading a book for hours by the dim yellow light of the nightlight?  Who told her to walk in on me while I was testing the drawing potential of her lipstick on the bathroom floor?  Somehow, though my sister often supported my secret sins at the time, there was still a mysterious tattler who was always getting me into trouble.

I  am certain it was God.  I think He got me in trouble, over and over again, to prove to me that whatever I did in private was meant to be brought into the open.

At the end of all things, we will stand before God's throne, and in the presence of all mankind throughout history, we will stand and confess and be judged openly according to what we have done (Revelation 20: 11-15).  There will no longer be any secrets, and anything we may have "gotten away with" in this life will be revealed before every ear.

With this in mind, I have tried to conduct my personal life in a way that I wouldn't one day regret.  I won't claim I am perfect.  I am far from it.  This is why I need Jesus to help me become more like Him, so that even in secret I will have nothing to be ashamed of.

This morning was one of those mornings I was glad I had taken God's tattle-tale plan seriously to heart.  I received a text message from my boyfriend's number, but it was a stranger.  Apparently, through some sort of snafu, my boyfriend's online phone number was sold to a different phone carrier and assigned to a 13 year-old boy's new cell phone.  Now his mother was investigating.  For at least the last two days, he has been receiving private texts back and forth between my boyfriend and I.

I realize that many people carry on a relationship in private that would not measure up to public scrutiny, even in the Christian community.  Especially in the Christian community.  I want to praise God again for the rules for living that my boyfriend and I take so seriously--they are a path of life (Proverbs 2; Proverbs 12: 28).  Even when we didn't know other eyes were watching, we were secretly honoring God with our words and behavior.  We entrusted every deed to God, and now we have no reason to regret.  Nothing incriminating or inappropriate was said, nor will it be as time marches forward.

Those who pattern their life after God's blueprint will never face the shame and potential life-altering repercussions of being "found out" by a complete stranger.  God's ways are so perfect.  In them are the paths of peace!  This is proven daily, even hourly, for those who will see it.

I am speaking, I suppose, to several recent scandals in the news, where famous people's secrets were outed, and those secrets tore apart the perfect life they lived in public.  I won't name any names, because this will likely always be a current event topic.

May we not look to them and say, "I'm glad nobody knows the truth about me." Rather, may we always look at ourselves and submit to God's scrutiny.  He already knows the truth about us.  Let us ask Him to rewrite the secret stories of our lives, adding an ending that says that, though we sinned, He forgave, and though we were guilty, He taught us righteousness.  The God who reveals secrets can redeem us from them if we are humble enough to submit to Him.  God's ways really are a path of life for those who follow them!

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. --Proverbs 28: 13 NIV 2011