“For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17 ESV).
Perhaps you can remember when, as a child, you were amazed that your parents always seemed to know when you had done something wrong despite your best attempts at deception. I would have sworn that my Dad had James Bond devices surveilling my every move.
As we got older our ever-more-deeply-entrenched sin nature made it easier to get away with things. It wasn’t that we had meticulously crafted and honed our skills through any effort whatsoever; it was simply that we became innately better at doing what fallen people do. It’s like when a foal is born; within minutes it is standing and walking. Unlike humans, walking is programmed into its DNA. We are natural-born sinners.
We have an intrinsic fear of consequences because we have intrinsic conviction, or sense of guilt, about our behavior. We know that we have done wrong, most of the time without having been told that a particular action or behavior is wrong. In fact, that we try to conceal a behavior is proof positive that we shouldn’t be doing it!
We have come to rely on the fact that we cast a shadow. There is always some place to hide the things about us that we don’t want anyone to see. We tuck them away neatly in the darkest parts of our being. We think that displaying a happy face will keep people from noticing our shadows and the dark things they conceal. We do whatever we can to position ourselves favorably so that people only see our “good side.” But Jesus said that “…nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.”
Paul told Timothy, “The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden” (1 Timothy 5:24-25 ESV). We cannot judge by appearances; nor can we count on time keeping our secrets. So what then are we to do?
John tells us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 ESV). James says that we also need to “confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16 ESV emphasis mine).
Confessing your sins to another removes the power that sin has on you. There is peace and freedom from fear when we refuse to carry the weight of secret sin. We don’t have to waste a moment of time wondering when our sins will finally catch up with us.
Yes, by all means, confess your sins to God. He will forgive you. But the history of your actions will follow you around like a shadow until it is exposed to the light of day. We must find someone that we trust and confess our sins to each other. This is how we break the power those sins hold over us. This should be how we prefer for the hidden things come to light.