Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stop Trying to Hide

By Edd Sterchi

     A preacher phoned the home of some recent visitors to church services.  A voice answered very softly and quietly, “Hello?”  The preacher asked, “Who is this?” The whisper on the other end said, “This is Jimmy.”  The preacher asked, “How old are you, Jimmy?”  “I’m four years old,” the boy replied.  The conversation continued.  “Jimmy, may I please speak to your Mother?”  “No, not right now; she’s very busy.”  “Well then can I speak to your Dad?”  “No, he’s really busy, too.”  The preacher, wondering why this little boy was taking the calls, began to get concerned that perhaps the boy was home alone, so he asked, “Are there any other adults at your house?”  “Yes, the police,” said Jimmy.   The preacher was really worried now.  Was this little boy in trouble?  Did something happen to his parents?  What could be going on?  So he asked, “Well, Jimmy, could I speak to one of the police officers?”  “No, they’re all very busy too.”  The preacher, really worried now declared, “Jimmy, what’s happening?  What are they all busy doing?”  The little whispering voice came back and said proudly, “They’re all looking for me.  I’m playing hide and seek, and I’m winning;  Bye.”
     Sadly, many people are like little Jimmy.  They are living in secret sin, thinking they are hiding it from their families, or even worse, from the Lord.  Jimmy got found (or should I say “caught”), I’m sure.  And for those who think they have committed the perfect secret sin, be warned: “your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23).
     The Bible declares that God will one day judge the secrets of every heart (Rom. 2:16).  He “will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecc. 12:14).   Note one more admonishment concerning this matter from the lips of our Savior: “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known” (Luke 12:2).  Friend, take notice: There is no thing as the perfect cover-up when it comes to sin.  Those who think they can evade shame by sinning in secret will discover one day that open disclosure of their secrets before the very throne of God is the worst shame of all.
     It is folly to think we can mitigate our sin by keeping it secret. It is double folly to tell ourselves that we are better than others because we sin in private rather than in public.  And it is the very height of folly to convince ourselves that we can get away with sin by covering it up.  “He who covers his sins will not prosper” (Pro. 28:13).
     But there is good news.  The rest of Pro. 28:13 reveals it.  Here’s the verse in it’s entirety: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”  If we, as children of God, will acknowledge and confess our sins (1 John 1:9), repent of them and pray for forgiveness (Acts 8:22), we are promised that those sins will never be held against us.  But then, as the Proverbs text suggests, we must also forsake those sins.
     All sin is an assault against our holy God, whether it is done in public or in secret.  And God, who beholds even the innermost secrets of the heart, sees our sin clearly, no matter how well we think we have covered it.  The best thing to do with secret sins is get them “out in the open” before God, get them forgiven, abandon them, and change our lifestyle.
     “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden.  I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psa. 32:5)

- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted at eddsterchi@comcast.net


     

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