Can you keep a secret?
I usually can, and that's normally a good thing. I don't tell when I hear that someone is expecting or that they're getting a new job or they're taking their kids on a surprise trip to Disney World.
Sometimes keeping a secret is a bad thing.
I had picked the topic of "balance" for our Fresh Hope support group last Sunday. As we talked about not doing too much so that we could stay emotionally healthy, I admitted a secret to the group. "What do I do about the Christmas cards I haven't sent out yet...and I even have some kids I never sent graduation cards to!" I started crying, of course, because I felt so stupid about procrastinating and not doing something I felt I "should" do. The rest of the group urged me to let the Christmas cards go. "I can really do that?" I asked. I wasn't so sure about that, but I took a deep breath and considered it. As for the graduation cards, I could still send them with just a quick apology and get it done.
After Fresh Hope, Gary chided me about the secret I had been keeping from him. I guess if I had to admit it, I had been keeping it a secret. As the months went by, I felt more and more embarrassed about not getting it done. I think I was hoping to just do them sometime and not tell him how late it had been. I felt guilty whenever I thought of those two tasks, and part of it was because of the secret.
Gary asked me on Tuesday if I had sent the graduation cards yet. I hadn't, but I made work of it on Wednesday morning and mailed them out. Whew! If only I had done that last May or June! I felt much better not having a secret from Gary and he provided the accountability I needed to help me finally get it done.
Hiding our unfinished tasks is one thing, but sometimes we can start to keep certain sins a secret from those we love. It's pretty safe to say that if there is anything you feel you must do in secret, it's probably not good for you or your spiritual health. Only you and God know for sure, of course, but it's worth thinking about.
Consider talking to your spouse or a close friend about your secret. It will be a relief to have it out in the open and you can ask that person to hold you accountable so that you turn away from your secret sin.
Now tell me, would it be a sin if I didn't send out a Christmas letter this year?
Jesus told his disciples: "So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim it from the roofs." (Matthew 10:26-27 NIV)
Do you have any secrets you're keeping? Is the guilt bothering you? How can focusing on God help you be brave enough to tell someone your secret and deal with whatever it is?