How often have we done it ourselves? Done something that we truly would not want anyone else to know about? We’re all guilty.
Recently, I was reminded of that by a little occurrence here in Mama’s Empty Nest. This Nana watches my not-quite-three-year-old granddaughter when her mama is working. I was busy doing laundry while she was playing, but suddenly I realized she had become very quiet.
Silence and a toddler. That usually means trouble.
I called out to her and asked what she was doing. She gave me her new standard answer. “No thing.”
No thing to her means nothing. Uh-huh. As I unobtrusively stepped out of the laundry room and walked soundlessly to where I thought she was playing, I caught her ripping pages out of a book, one after another.
I startled her when I called her name and again inquired, “What are you doing?”
She grabbed the book, torn pages and all, and scrambling to put them behind her back, ran away from me and tried to hide.
“Don’t see me, Nana!” she cried.
But it was too late. I’d already seen her and even though she was trying to hide not only the damage she had done but herself as well, I’d already observed her wrong-doing. And she knew it.
Typical child you might say. Trying to hide a naughty act. But don’t we adults do the same thing?
We hide what we’ve done wrong. We try to cover up our mistakes, our misconduct, our transgressions, our bad behavior, whatever you want to call it.
Or perhaps we try to put the blame on someone else. Not just because we don’t want to get caught, but also because we don’t want others to think we’re capable of the offense.
I know of someone who did exactly that – not only hid the offense, but lied and covered up a reprehensible thing the person had done and continued to do. No doubt, you also could name someone you know who committed a wrong and tried to hide it.
When I heard about the disgraceful act this person had committed, one thought came immediately to my mind.
What you do in secret will always be brought to light.
And it was. The person’s dirty little secret was exposed in a dramatic way. It happens every day – just listen to the news. Many a career has ended because of a person’s indiscretions.
Shameful actions are usually performed in secret. In the dark, so to speak. And the more time you spend hiding things in the dark, the more you start to believe there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing.
But hiding away those actions isn’t going to work. You can run, but you can’t hide forever. Sooner or later, you’re going to get found out. And you will face the consequences.
I recently read this quote by American actor Steve Kazee: “When you start hiding things away, that’s when the darkness creeps up. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
I agree with his philosophy, but I’d amend the last part. It’s true sunlight is probably a good disinfectant, but I believe Son-Light is the best way to banish darkness.
The words Jesus, the Son of God, the Light of the world, spoke in the New Testament in Luke 8:16-17 comes to my mind.
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
Granted, Jesus was speaking about the light of truth in God’s Word, that salvation comes from belief in Christ. Those of us who are believers should be sharing that light openly by both our actions and words so that others can see that light and also be saved.
But He also warned us in the rest of the passage that the light of truth is what exposes sin.
Far too easily we fall into the darkness of this world – into greediness, self-centeredness, bitterness, anger, hatred, lies and deceits, and a multitude of other wrongdoings that ensnare any one of us humans. Why do people fall into this darkness?
“Men loved the darkness rather than the light for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed.” ~ Jesus Christ in John 3:19-20
God’s truth exposes the sinful hearts we all have. Even the littlest of us. And unfortunately, we tend to hide from God’s light rather than allow ourselves and our tainted hearts to be exposed.
But we can’t hide away indefinitely. What we do in private, what we hide behind our backs and try to conceal from others’ eyes eventually comes out in a very public way. I envision it like the snake that comes back to bite us. We must face the consequences of our actions, ask forgiveness, and make amends for our wrongdoings.
Sometimes we who profess with our words to be believers in Christ are no better than the Pharisees in Jesus’ time. We pretend to be righteous. We act like we’re pious and sinless when in fact, we can allow our hearts to harbor wickedness just as much as the next guy. We act “Christian” in public, but we hide our true selves in secret.
“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees. They just pretend to be godly. Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftop,” Jesus told us in Matthew 12:1-3.
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer not to have my transgressions shouted from the rooftop.
It’s a new year. It’s a good time to examine my heart, bring any hidden secrets into light, turn away from those wrong-doings, seek forgiveness, and begin anew. Maybe you feel the need to do the same.
The only way I know to do so is to put my faith and trust in the Son-Light. His name is Jesus.
“Hateful to me as are the gates of hell, is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, utters another.” ~ Homer