Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fighting the urge to hide

The gay rights and gay pride movement gave us the phrase "coming out" to indicate that a person is going to live publicly, no longer hiding a secret. People "come out of the closet" with the desire to be known for who they really are and with the hope that they will be accepted for who they are.

We (all of us) have been hiding since the garden of Eden (Gen 3). This urge to hide what we've done and who we are is part of the Fall of man. It's destructive and harmful.

In Psalm 139:1-6 the song writer says this about God: "you know". You know when I get up in the morning, what I'm going to say before I say it, you know everything about me, you know ... you know... Then he says this:

"I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!" Ps 139:7

It sounds like the writer wants to run away, to hide from God, but finds that wherever he goes, God is already there.

I want to be known by God and others, but I also want to hide who I am and what I've done. Isn't that weird? Why am I frightened by God's knowledge of me? Shame. In Eden, Adam told God "we were ashamed" so we hid". I'm ashamed about my sin, my failures, about myself - who I am. How can that be? "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (also in Ps 139). God knows everything! EVERYTHING! And he still loves me. Jesus died for my sin and removed my shame. Why am I still hiding?

It is time to stop hiding. If you have a "deep dark secret" - tell someone. God knows already, you can't hide from him. Some time back, I told a dark secret to my friends. I expected judgement and harsh words. I thought I would hear "Oh Allan, how could you?".  Later some of my friends  shared their anger and hurt about what I had done, but initially all I heard was "thank you for sharing that. How can I help?"

Don't spend another day hiding in shame. If you have a secret that is causing you pain and shame, tell someone. Talk to a trusted friend, a sister in the Lord, your pastor - do not spend another day hiding. Walk in the light.