Knowing something needs to change and actually doing it are two different things. Secrets eat us up from the inside out. They create a breeding ground for lies, shame and fear. Satan loves our secrets and when we keep them hidden, he is delighted. But in 1 John 1, Jesus tells us to bring things into His light because with him there is no darkness; no shame, no fear.
But what will people think? What will my family say? We can come up with a million excuses but what it ultimately comes down to is this: Are you ready to be free? Are you ready to stop hiding? Are you tired of bearing this burden alone? Are you tired of being controlled by a secret puppet master?
Then it is time to confess! First, tell God. I know he already knows everything, but there is something powerful about speaking the words to him. If it is sin, confess that sin and all of the accompanying sins that came as a result of the root sin. This isn’t a time for deals or promises with God about staying clean; it’s a time for total honesty, humility, and a deep desire to do whatever it is to change. Just get it out. Journal it, speak it, cry it, yell it, pound it-just tell God.
Next, find a trusted person to confess it to. Ask God to show you who that person is. If you don’t feel like you can trust anyone around you, then find a Christian Counselor or Recovery Group and talk about it with them. Maybe you want to share with your pastor or a leader in the church. Sometimes you will have someone in your church who has shared a testimony who has walked the same path you are about to walk on-they may be a person to confide in as well. What’s important is that you confess it first to God and then to another human being that you trust.
Oftentimes when we are in deep sin, we don’t get the privilege of a voluntary confession; instead we get caught and confronted. If you get caught, take the opportunity to tell that person thank you, tell God thank you, and simply own it. This is the chance to get the help you know you have needed for a long time, so instead of denying and blaming, face it head on and deal with it.
If your secret involves abuse or something done to you by another person, you need to talk to God first and then find a trusted person to confide in. A counselor, church leader, friend, or even a law enforcement official may need to be found. Find someone who will remind you of God’s truth and who can help point you to scripture instead of the lies you have been believing for too long.
No matter what the secret, whoever you tell, please make sure you pray first. You may not need to tell everything to this person, but enough to either get help or hold you accountable. Self-imposed sin or sin done to us by another can be crippling and keeping ourselves in hiding creates shame and guilt God never intended for us to live with. He want us to confess, bring our secrets into the light, learn to walk in truth and trust that Jesus will be our strength through it all.
Once you confess, it can’t simply stop there. You must move forward into a place of repentance. We cannot let our secret shame define us any longer. We must be willing to do the hard work, no matter what that looks like, and let Jesus change our lives. It. Is Worth. It.
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