What Are Your Hidden Sins?
It’s easy to be opportunistic at this time with the Tiger Woods scandal/saga. It’s easy to be judgmental and, like our media, savage yet another fallen celebrity. We’d done it with the likes of Kyle Sandilands, and we’re doing it to Tiger. Maybe it’s due to the vacuum that God-lessness creates… someone’s gotta be put on to that pedestal and so when they fall, the disappointments are greater.
I don’t want to blog about those things. What I found worth noticing from the unravelling of Tiger’s apparently well-manicured public life is the very simple fact: nothing gets hidden forever. For some like Tiger, it comes crashing down very quickly and snowballs to gigantic proportions. For others, the revelations are not so public (though always devastating). But the principle is the same: nothing stays hidden forever.
Now we Christians should know that most of all. 2 Peter 3:10 says:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
The idea of the earth and everything in it being ‘laid bare’ isn’t so much about its total destruction. It’s referring to everything one day being revealed – all good and bad, all justice and injustice, all open and hidden sins… EVERYTHING it says gets shown up on that Last Day. In other words, Tiger Woods is not alone. One day – even if in this life we maintain our good public personas until we die – one day it’ll come out anyway.
I guess the challenge for me is this: if everything is going to be revealed one day anyway, why be afraid to reveal it now?
Many of us have sins that have been well-hidden from others. Hopefully they are sins that have been dealt with, repented of and forgiven. It’s true: our justification is something to be enjoyed now because we are ‘in Christ’. And such is the forgiveness won for us in Christ that even when these sins are revealed on the Last Day, they are revealed as forgiven sins, pardoned sins, sins that Jesus has already given full payment for in his death on the cross. And yet the truth still stands: they will be revealed.
So here’s what I’m thinking… Christians should feel the most secure about revealing secret sins. We know they’ve been dealt with. We know we’ve been forgiven. And we also know that it’s just a matter of time before they get revealed. So my point is this: why not reveal them now? In fact that’s exactly what James urges us to do in Jamesd 5:16 – ‘Confess your sins to one another’. We should be open and honest about our dealt-with sins, knowing simultaneously that they are forgiven and covered and that one day they’ll all come tumbling out for all to see anyway.
There is, of course, a hidden warning in all of this too. For sins that we haven’t properly repented of, and because of that, sins we’ve kept them well-hidden from everyone… these sins will see the light of day one day as well. And here’s the irony: if God is merciful, he’ll reveal it in this life and not allow us to continue unrepentant in them. It happened to Tiger; it can happen to us. But as I said, if it does happen to us, it’s because God’s mercy. For you see, our Father loves us too much not to give us a chance in this life to repent. And sometimes if we’re not willing to ‘have it out’, he’ll do it for us in order to lead us to repentance.
So are your sins catching up with you? Or do you feel like keeping your sins hidden is just too much to bear? Why not learn from Tiger Woods and actually deal with them now? Don’t let circumstances or people other than you be the cause of ‘everything being laid bare’ now. Lay it bare yourself. Be transparent, confess your sins, repent, receive forgiveness, and know the power of God to break confessed sin.
Then wait confidently for the Day of Judgement, for nothing will be revealed then that isn’t already known now: both our sins and our justification in Christ.