For decades of my life, I carried around malignant soul-tumors that had built up over years of living two lives — first, there was the real me, warts and all, and then there was the “presentation version” of me, intended for public consumption.
The “growths” inside me were the manifold secrets that I had accumulated by progressively stuffing the things I was ashamed of deep within. Trouble is, they wouldn’t stay down and had the uncanny knack of “leaking out” when I was under stress.
I was a ticking time bomb leading a double life. This underlying pain drove me to seek various “medications” over the years that further deepened my shame and drove me further from God.
In an article entitled, “The Power of Secrets,” former Santa Barbara Rescue Mission program director and Genesis Process founder Michael Dye writes, “Secrets are secrets because they usually have to do with things that you know you shouldn’t be doing and are not good for you. Your secrets are about things you don’t want to think about too much, because not only do they make you feel guilty, but they are also double binds — things you don’t like, but don’t want to give up either … In most cases, secrets have to do with ways of coping. These unresolved issues are always trying to surface in your conscious awareness in order to be resolved.”
Secrets Have a Long History
After the two miscreants disobeyed a direct order of God, they became acquainted with something they had never known before — shame. In Genesis 3:7-8, we are told, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden … and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
And worse, these two freshly minted sinners found themselves running from the only Person who could save them, their loving Creator.
It’s been that way ever since for all of us. Here’s John 3:20: “For everyone who does evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
If you think you can successfully hide from God, study the ostrich, hiding his head in the sand.
It is deeply instructive that God didn’t wait for Adam and Eve to come to Him. Instead, He came after them, as it is written in Genesis 3:9-10, “Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid myself.’”
Likewise, at just the right time in my life, God finally got my attention and made me aware of his grace, mercy and forgiveness. Finally, I had a Friend to whom I could pour out my shame, guilt, wounds and fears, knowing that I was safe and free from condemnation.
As John 3:21 says, “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Walking In the Light
“For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light,” it is written in Mark 4:22.
Funny thing about secrets. They contain the seeds of their own destruction. It was such a relief for me to emerge out of the shadows and “fess up” to God.
Poet James Joyce once wrote, “Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.”
Those tyrants, threatening to expose me were gone. The light killed them, and they lost their power over me. Now my challenge is to stand firm in integrity and to live my life intentionally in the presence of God.
How About You?
We have integrity when our inside equals our outside. When we are the same person in the marketplace as we are in church, at home, at play — no duplicity, nothing to hide. Take your secrets to the One who will cleanse you once and for all, through the blood of Jesus.
— D.C. Collier is a Bible teacher, discipleship mentor and writer focused on Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and Internet entrepreneur, he is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s basic “value proposition.” Click here for more information, or contact him at email@example.com. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.