Those intended to surprise and delight bring joy to life, to every journey. They invigorate the soul!
Those intended to mislead or to withhold truth do anything but refresh. Instead, they threaten to deplete the joy not only from the life of those they seek to delude but, ultimately, from the secret keeper’s life as well.
It might be an action or words undisclosed or keeping information that would reveal the truth or it might even be an outright lie. Either way, it is an attempt to deceive for whatever reason. And, in the process, they are deceived themselves, justifying every step until they have lost sight of what truth really is.
We see it all around us. You can’t turn on the radio or the tv without seeing some form – either in the news, through various forms of entertainment, and even opinion pieces. We see it in the people we encounter around us as well – acquaintances and close relationships. And, we watch, wanting to say, “Don’t you see?” as the people involved become more wounded with every progressive step deeper into the deception because, once it has started, it takes a life of its own and has to be fed.
What is behind each is both brokenness and pride. It has been said that “reputation is what people think of you (what they see on the outside), but character is who you are when no one is looking.”
In an attempt to maintain a stellar reputation while still doing what pleases them, men and women often trade in their character. The desire to have the applause of man or to do “what seems right” rather than to seek the blessing and smile of God and walk secure is sometimes overwhelming and the slip into a cover of darkness is the enemy’s way of keeping their eyes on themselves rather than on the One Who has formed them, Who knows them, and Who calls them by name.
Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”? Isaiah 29:15-16
They forget, don’t realize, or simply don’t care that there is a God who sees and stands ready, not just to forgive but to lift them out of that darkness and set them on His secure and solid ground. He shines light into the dark places not to shame but to restore; to woo those caught in the web of dishonesty back to the way of truthfulness, the only way that is right and good, the only means to relationships that are safe, strong, and trustworthy.
But He is also the God who, when one is not willing, will discipline His children and judge those who are not. Why? Because truth is not just a “nice concept” that brings safety and trust to relationships and order to all else, it is, in fact, central to the very character of God.
But who whispers to them, and often to each of us, that they need to hide? None other than the same liar that told Adam and Eve in the garden that they could be like God. Who tells them, and often us, that they can control their own lives by “following their heart” and by disclosing only that which will make them look good while doing things contrary to God’s commands?
Is it not the same swindler who laughed when Adam and Eve realized they were naked and ashamed. It’s the age old issue of the deceiver deceiving those who themselves wish to deceive and their eyes that have turned inward being led away only to hide.
We watch and we long to bring light to the darkness. We grow weary of the constant barrage on the news or weep as we watch a friend on either end of the ruse. Secrets begin to control the secret keeper as they submit to the false god of self rule; transparency and honesty cannot dwell with the hidden things.
Honesty creates unity.
Secrets are done in darkness.
Honesty dwells in light.
Secrets build walls of distrust.
Honesty provides a safe haven.
Honesty abides in truth and restores.
Secrets breed fear.
Honesty gives rise to peace.
Honesty abides in truth and restores.
Secrets grow from a self centered heart where “I” am on the throne.
Honesty develops from an other-centered perspective where God is on the throne.
Secrets result from a vision of “me.”
Honesty looks beyond self and circumstances to God who is in control.
Secrets take the secret keeper deeper down often unaware of his/her erratic course.
Honesty finds its journey straight and clear on the high ground.
Secrets say “I love me.”
Honesty says “I love you.”
Secrets deceive self.
Honesty brings freedom.
Secrets never stay secret and regret follows.
Honesty lays all bare so there is nothing to hide and there are no regrets.
The father of lies promises peace in the darkness where he knows there is none then mocks the one who is wounded in the battle.
But Jesus, who is Light* and who “dwells in unapproachable light,”** gives the true promise that is ever faithful, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:28
“Be self controlled and alert; your enemy the devil prowls around like a lion ready to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith.” I Peter 5:7,8
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
**I Timothy 6:16