“He who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
This verse gives us a simple yet powerful guide on the need to confess our sins instead of covering it up. However, what if it’s not your sin? What if you’re not the one confessing but the one being confided in?
A couple of weeks ago I experienced just this and was asked to keep things in strict confidence. I agreed to the request but walked away from the conversation saddened for the person, sensing a true struggle – a crossroads moment. I had resolved in my spirit to pray for this person daily, of which I was doing already, though I now knew how to pray specifically.
Since that conversation there has been things that have been said, done, and heard that have led me to believe that this person is really no longer at this crossroads, perhaps at the moment of our conversation they were not at the crossroads as I had suspected, they were beyond. The decision as to which path to take had already been determined and the journey had begun. My heart has grown ever increasingly heavy, so much so that tonight I began to have a meltdown. The secrecy, the entangled web of lies you must weave through in order to keep the truth hidden only makes you weak and laden. In all actuality, you become oppressed.
Whom do I now confide in?
Having lived a life of lies and secrecy myself for so long, I’ve determined within myself to not walk this path again. The walking on of eggshells; the not knowing of whom you told what too and trying to keep the stories straight; the constant worry of what a person will think or how they will react. Is the secret really, worth what is inevitable? My ex would often say, “the truth always has a way of coming out.”
Tonight I find myself broken; I shared with a friend the fact that I was carrying a secret so big, in my minds eye, that I didn’t know what to do with it. It isn’t the fact even that I don’t know how to deal with the secret, it’s the fact that the secret is a secret. John 8:32 states, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Why then do I know the truth but do not feel free? Light will always expose the truth and as my friend said tonight, the one hiding it or God revealing it will either tell the secret. My friend was right but where does that leave me now. Again, I ask, whom do I confide in? My friends’ response was simple – you relinquish this to God, take your hands off, and realize that your lasso isn’t going to capture and tear this one down, it is too big for you – you cannot carry this on your own.
I came home and began to ponder – you know, the type of pondering that is like chewing on an old, tough piece of meat to the point your jaws are aching? I pulled up a devotion I had received via email and read these words, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) Is this not in a sense what this person did?
Yet again, I find myself asking, whom do I confide in?
The answer is simple – God.
It wasn’t so simple for me earlier this evening. My light bulb moment came when I read the following words, “I must tell Jesus”. The person who had made the comment had no clue the impact they were leaving – those are the God moments that I cherish so. The thing is, secrecy is so very tempting, especially when it may allow our favorite sin to continue. It enables us to live behind a façade. But how long are you able to continue hiding your secret particularly when the simple fact is, God already knows it.
Elisha Hoffman could not have said it better when she wrote these words in 1893:
I must tell Jesus all of my trials, I cannot bear these burdens alone; In my distress He kindly will help me, He ever loves and cares for His own. I must tell Jesus all of my troubles, He is a kind, compassionate friend; If I but ask Him He will deliver, Make of my troubles quickly an end. What must I do when worldliness calls me? What must I do when tempted to sin? I must tell Jesus, and He will help me over the world the victory to win. I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear my burdens alone; I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
Tonight I will do as instructed in Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens…” and as I carry this burdensome secret for this person, I will in turn allow Jesus to carry mine. I relinquish control, surrendering the secret to He who already knows.