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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org