When I was in grammar school my sisters found it amusing to speak with each other in some unknown language. I later learned it was called Pig Latin, which is a language game of alterations played in English. It was a secret way of talking and they used it because they didn’t want me to know what they were discussing. They wanted to be secretive.
The Bible talks about both good and bad secrets. Kind of like a good cholesterol and a bad cholesterol. A good secret is something positive you do and wonder if anyone notices. Jesus alluded to this type in Matthew chapter 6 when he talked about some religious people who liked doing things for human recognition. He explains the value of not emulating this approach to good works. God sees every good thing we do in secret and rewards us for them. Every good secret will be rewarded.
Bad secrets, however, are things we want no one to discover. Keeping a dark secret can consume you. Dark secrets lurk in the back of our souls, in the shadows, and gnaw at us. We are burdened by our secrets. And when you least expect it, they often come to light, and the fallout can be catastrophic.
The Bible gives us 4 reasons we shouldn’t keep bad secrets and David the second King of Israel reveals all four.
David was a great man but he had a weakness for women. He committed adultery with a woman name Bathsheba and after discovering she was pregnant with their child, he tried to cover his tracks.
His attempts failed, however, and adultery led to murder, then chaos and ultimately the death of their child.
David thought his secret was safe but soon learned 4 lessons.
Lesson 1: You can’t fool God! 2 Samuel 11:17 “But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.” David might have kept his secret from everyone else—he might have fooled those around him—but he didn’t fool God. God knew. God always knows. He knows your secrets and my secrets too.
So really, there are no secrets with God. You can’t fool Him—He knows everything. Don’t fool yourself! Stop fooling yourself by thinking that you’ve got a secret, or that you’ve got away with it.
Lesson 2: Your secrets will be revealed. Luke 12:1-3 makes this abundantly clear. We all know about David. It is no secret to anyone who has read the Bible!
Lesson 3. Bad secrets, when kept inside, cost dearly. Listen to how David puts it: Psalms 32:3-4 “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable; I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” Bad secrets grow in power when we refuse to confess them but confession brings us a fourth lesson.
Lesson 4. Living in the light brings the greatest dividends of all.
When a man named Nathan confronted David about his secret sin, he finally came clean. He came to the light. He exposed the evil that lurked inside. He did what John recommends in the New. Testament. 1John 1:9 “…if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” The result? Forgiveness! Freedom!
As you begin 2012, be encouraged to walk in the light. Make a decision to live out loud, in the open, holding no bad secrets. It will be one of your best decisions for the New Year.