Hebrews 4:12-13 Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done. NLT
God knows you better than you know yourself. Every thought you have, He knows. Every action you do that you think is in secret, He knows. Every motive in your heart, He knows. You can’t hide from God.
Have you ever seen a video of a kid, maybe two or three, whose face and hands are covered in chocolate? The parent walks into the room and askes, “Were you eating chocolate?” What does the boy do? Immediately, this wave of shame just washes over him. His head drops, voice goes quiet and his words are slow. He says, “No, I wasn’t eating chocolate.” Those videos are priceless. They purity of that moment is cute. The reason it’s cute is because the kid has a secret and doesn’t think we know.
I think, a kid with chocolate on his face and hands is a perfect picture of us with God. We dive into chocolate, our secret, God walks into the kitchen, we look at God with shame and say, “No, I wasn’t eating chocolate, I don’t have any secrets.”
Think about this with me for a second. In life, who has the secret to hide? We do. Who walks with shame? We do. Who immediately acts weird when around God stuff like church? We do. Who knows everything about us? God.
Seeing a kid on video with chocolate all over his face and hands and drops his head in shame is a very cute moment. But, when you are an adult with secrets, it’s not cute anymore, it’s sad. AA has a saying that that addresses this; “You are only as sick as the secrets you keep.” Today, we end the series with the last way you can ruin your heart. Here it is. Keep your secrets, hid your sins and never, never, never, be honest. It will ruin your heart, your life and all your relationships.
Scripture describes what happens to us emotionally when we keep secrets and sins as adults.
Psalms 32:3-4 The Message Version, When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. 4 The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up.
Same scripture, The Living Bible translation, There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. 4 All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day.
Have you felt that? Can you emotionally connect with that scripture?
Before we go on, think about this, do you know why you might feel like life moving in on you with constant pressure? Like all the juices in your life are dried up? You feel miserable and frustrated and it steals your courage and strength. Do you know why that is? Maybe, I’m not saying this is you, but maybe, it’s because you have a secret, a sin and it’s killing you. That’s what secrets do. They kill you slowly from the inside out.
Question for you: what secrets are killing you?
Knowing that secrets and sins destroy from the inside out and feeling the internal pain of hiding our secrets, what do we do?
Let’s keep reading. Psalms 32:5-7, first in the Message Version.
Then I let it all out; I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to GOD.” Suddenly the pressure was gone – my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared. 6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray; when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts we’ll be on high ground, untouched. 7 GOD’s my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore, throws garlands of hosannas around my neck. MSG
Same text, different translation. I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess them to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. 6 Now I say that each believer should confess his sins to God when he is aware of them, while there is time to be forgiven. Judgment will not touch him if he does. 7 You are my hiding place from every storm of life; you even keep me from getting into trouble! You surround me with songs of victory. TLB
What do we do? We get honest. And immediately, all guilt, all shame, all pressure is gone. That’s freedom. Do you live in that freedom?
One of the disciples who hung out with Jesus wrote a letter to us. He begins this letter and shares how he is out of his mind amazed because He knows God walked on the earth as Jesus. He writes it in a way that we might not believe him. He says, ‘I guarantee that I met with God, I touched Him!’ He continues to write and says, ‘Do what I tell you in this letter and your life will be transformed like me.’
1 John 1:1-9 Christ was alive when the world began, yet I myself have seen him with my own eyes and listened to him speak. I have touched him with my own hands. He is God’s message of life. 2 This one who is life from God has been shown to us, and we guarantee that we have seen him; I am speaking of Christ, who is eternal Life. He was with the Father and then was shown to us. 3 Again I say, we are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may share the fellowship and the joys we have with the Father and with Jesus Christ his son. 4 And if you do as I say in this letter, then you, too, will be full of joy, and so will we.
John is basically saying, I hung out with Jesus. I saw Him, touched Him, did life with Him, He is the real deal. My time with Jesus transformed my life. It was amazing. I’m going to tell you something so that if you do it, it will transform you. Your life will be amazing.
5 This is the message God has given us to pass on to you: that God is Light and in him is no darkness at all. 6 So if we say we are his friends but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying. 7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. TLB
John is saying, don’t play games. Get real. Confess your sins. If you want to be transformed, pour out your secrets. Dump those sins. And until you get honest, you won’t have that transformed life.
I want to share a couple secrets that many people have but will never admit. And I believe these secrets are killing people from the inside out. They feel like life moving in on them with constant pressure. It leaves people feeling like all their juices in your life are dried up. It leaves people feeling miserable and frustrated. They struggle to have the transformed life that John wants us to have.
Secret #1: I don’t meet with God and spend time with Him. I came to Him for fire insurance but daily, He’s not my Lord and Savior. He is not shaping and molding my heart.
Jesus asked, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.” Matthew 11:28 MSG
That means, if you don’t get way with God, you will be unable to recover your life. You will continue to feel tired, worn down and burned out on religion.
Living like this means I only react to life. I cannot give life. So instead of giving life in my friendships, my marriage, my work, my church, I take life. I expect others around me to give me what I need and if they don’t I am hurt and disappointed. I am angry and frustrated with my spouse, kids, work and church. I play the victim everywhere I go. Why? I can only react to life, I can’t give life.
This secret will ruin your heart. It grinds your bones to powder, daily pressure never ends and all your juices are dried up. If the apostle John was here with us, I think he would say, “Get honest.”
Secret #2: Truth is, I don’t’ want to fully jump into God’s grace. I’m going to keep living the way I want to. This is such a hard place to be. I love the grace of God, it redeems me but I go back into my life and refuse to break away from old habits, attitudes, heart issues that lead me to be damaged.
You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. …Now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! 23 Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. MSG Romans 6:16, 22-23
This could be anything from your attitude, gossiping, always being negative, addictions. Have you met this person or maybe you are this person. You come to church, find Christ and are so happy for a fresh start. Then life happens. You keep coming to church but what used to be this joy is replaced with feeling like the God stuff is now a duty, a job or a chore? You actually are happy your kids have a Saturday or Sunday sports event so you get Sunday off. You get a little gitty that it’s snowing so you don’t have to do the church thing. What happened? Maybe, maybe, maybe this is you, maybe not. You experienced God’s grace, it was awesome. But God and His grace didn’t go home with you. You just went back into your life, no changes, back into the old habits and attitudes of sin and secretly, you hate the ways of God. You would never say hate out loud but the ways of God rub you the wrong way.
This secret will ruin your heart. It grinds your bones to powder, daily pressure never ends and all your juices are dried up.
Secret #3: I am wounded, I’m hurt, and I’m embarrassed to let people know.
Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. 14 Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. 15 Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven – healed inside and out. 16 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. MSG James 5:13-16
The reason you continue to walk with pain is because you won’t allow God to heal you. You don’t have to live like that. God came to heal you. Your healing is waiting for you but it requires that you be honest. It actually should be common for you to be transparent.
What do you do? Well, if you want to ruin your heart, do nothing. Keep your secrets, hid your sins and never, never, never, be honest.
If you want freedom then get honest. Get alone with God. I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess them to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Get alone with God and get honest, admit your secrets.
Tell your spouse and/or friend.
Live every day in complete honesty. If you don’t, it will ruin your heart.