I've been talking about this show I've been watching called Secrets and Lies, and discussed blaming and lying.
Today, I want to talk about secrets.
Of course, there are good secrets, like a surprise party or a gift. And some secrets must be kept. For instance, when a friend tells you something personal in confidence. Or a private prayer request. But those are outward secrets---secrets that involve others.
The secrets I'm talking about are the ones that we keep locked up inside; the inner secrets that cause us to feel ashamed and keep us in constant guilt.
"You're only as sick as your secrets."
In other words, the longer you keep the secret of your addiction, your sin, your struggles, the longer you will remain in bondage, the longer you'll be "sick."
"Secret" Sickness can manifest in many forms: physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological.
The longer we hold on to those "secret sins," the sicker we become. The secrets we hold in our heads and in our hearts cause emotional turmoil and spiritual separation, because we feel unworthy, ashamed, and guilty. We often lose sleep over it, for fear that someone will discover and expose our secret, thus exposing our shame.
Holding on to that secret can lead to a host of physical ailments and even psychological disorders, because we weren't created to keep our sin hidden.
There is another kind of secret; one that is neither a "good" secret nor a sin. I'm talking about abuse; something that was done to us that was neither our fault nor our choice---a violation of our rights, our bodies, and our emotions.
Physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse not only scars a person, but the abuser typically uses fear and manipulation to keep the abused in a state of insecurity, shame and bondage to the abuser.
Sadly, these secrets are the ones that are usually kept under lock and key. It's too scary to let anyone know. They might not love us anymore. They might be disgusted and leave us. Worse, if we believe what the abuser has told us, they might be harmed if we tell.
You're only as sick as your secrets.
If you are struggling with a secret sin, a secret from your past, or have been the victim of abuse, I want to encourage you to take a step of faith and expose the secret.
If it is a secret sin, lay it before the Lord.
The secrets that we lay before the Lord are consumed in the light of His presence (Ps 90:8). He knows the secrets of our hearts (Ps 44:21), but chooses to redeem us because of His unfailing love (Ps 44:26).
Confess, repent and accept His forgiveness.
If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9)
If it is a secret you've been keeping to protect someone, pray about releasing that secret, in order to release yourself from that responsibility that may not be yours. It may have consequences, and it may cause damage to the relationship, or even alienation.
But if it's no longer your job to carry that burden, you need to let it go.
Prayer is vital in order to know the best way to handle this delicate kind of situation. A pastor, counselor or friend may be able to help you work through the process.
If it's abuse you've suffered, realize that this is not your sin. You were sinned against.
It was not your fault. You are not bad or dirty or unworthy. You are deeply loved by God. And He longs for you to cry out to Him. He longs to heal your wounds.
You may think He didn't hear you all those years ago when you cried out to Him, but I can assure you that He did. He cared for you then and He cares for you now. I can't explain why He allowed it. I wish I could. I'm sorry that you had to endure that. But you now have a choice: you can remain the victim, or claim the victory through Jesus Christ. You can begin again today.
Don't try to do it alone. Seek professional help if needed. Find a trusted friend, pastor or counselor and ask them to point you in the right direction if it's more than they can handle.
If you are living in any kind of domestic violence right now, please don't continue to protect your abuser.
Don't perpetuate the secret. It might be best for you not to continue to live where you are if it is unsafe or unhealthy. As difficult as it may be, seek help. Again, seek the advice of a trusted friend, a pastor or counselor. Don't do anything hastily, but please don't continue to live in an unsafe environment.
I'm no expert in this field...not by a long shot. But I do know about keeping secrets that I ought to let go of. And I do know this:
A secret exposed no longer has control.
Without control, the secret shatters.
Once shattered, the secret is powerless.
A powerless secret leaves room for a
powerful God to intervene.
Turn from evil and do good.
Seek peace and pursue it. (Ps 34:14)
Blessings Along the Path,
sharing this post with Tell it to Me Tuesdays, Blessing Counters, Grace &Truth, The Weekend Brew, Sunday Stillness