John 7:4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.
What a great verse. So incredibly appropriate for me today. Somehow, I mixed up my daily readings and did today’s devotional yesterday. So, I’m doing what should have been yesterday’s today. But God knew I needed this exact verse this morning. It’s always amazing to me when I see so clearly that the Lord is showing me something. When He meets me right where I’m at and opens His word to me.
This premise is pretty basic. If you are willing to be openly known, you won’t be doing things secretly. Another translation talks about being a public figure and having secrets. You only need to look at Tiger Woods to know how that turns out. What’s always amazing to me is that people think they can get away with it. That nobody will ever find out. As if secret sins are not as bad because nobody else knows about them. Wrong. God is very clear on this point. Psalm 90:8 says “You have put the evil we have done right in front of you; you clearly see our secret sins.” Whatever you think you’re hiding is slapping the Lord in the face. Elsewhere, God says “be sure your sin will find you out”. There are no secret sins. So what’s the solution? Live openly. Put it out there. Don’t pretend you aren’t a rotten sinner just like the rest of us.
The amazing thing about secrets done in public is that suddenly, they aren’t as appealing. If I know that there’s accountability in my life for the things I do, I’m much more aware of my actions. For example, I’m totally an angry driver. I’m impatient, annoyed easily and absolutely certain that every other driver is an idiot (whops…there’s the sin I’m talking about). Before I had kids, I’d name-call and yell at people while commuting to work. If they drove too fast, followed to close, putt-putted in front of me, or (gasp!) actually stopped at a yellow light instead of speeding thru with me hot on their bumper. Now that I have four little ears hanging on everything I say in the backseat, suddenly my forbearance with bad driving has exponentially improved. The secrecy of my solitude in the car no longer exists. My perpetual expression of every thought in my head stopped cold the first time Madison repeated something I’d just yelled at a passing motorist. Sure, I still slip up occasionally, but I’m much more aware of it because it’s public.
Obviously this is a pretty tame example, but God point to me this morning was two-fold. First, people who aren’t willing to openly share their life have something to hide. Including me. If I feel like keeping quiet on what I’ve been up to – it’s because I shouldn’t be doing it. If, in conversations and interactions with friends/family there’s no real open discussion of life, there’s other stuff going on. So I’m going to live in the open. Share my troubles. Lay bare my weaknesses and seek out relationships with those who will encourage me to do so. Second, God knows. Even if there’s no honesty in human interactions, I can rest that there’s nothing being kept from Him. Where there is deceit and discord, the Lord is not fooled. In the midst of secrecy and lies God will not be mocked. Secrets are public record in God’s courtroom. His justice is perfect. When I feel unsure because it feels like I’m missing something, I know the Lord has seen it. And He has my back. People will fail me. God will not.