Secret Sins


David Leach:

“Christian, your secret sins are never secret. (Prov 15:3) You may go to desperate lengths to secure your darker impulses and antinomian activity from your church, your neighbor your family and your co-worker but you utterly lack the resources to hide them from the eyes of the Lord. Even if you are profoundly successful at hiding your sin from those close to you, you are bound to absolute failure at locking them away from the One who not only sees your every outward deed, but likewise sees your every thought, plan, excuse and rationale – no matter how deeply and securely you imagine them hidden from His gaze. In other words you have never had to this day, and will never for your entire life have a thought or deed the Lord is not privy to in excruciating detail. Every aspect of your entire life is forever naked before God, and can never find shelter from his inescapable scrutiny.

Sometimes we see this clearly when it comes to others, but far less so for ourselves. We marvel that King David apparently thought his arranged murder of Uriah the Hittite for the sinful procurement of Bathsheba would escape the awareness and judgement of the Lord. Did he hope God would make exception for the man "after His own heart?" Did David suppose while in some temporary fog of delusion that God would withhold nothing from the man He made King? God had, after all, taken David as a common boy herding sheep and made him ruler over all of Israel. Perhaps David reasoned that his stock was so high with the Lord that He might just wink at his indiscretion. Or perhaps it was just simply that David, as we so often do, just wanted what he wanted and simply blocked out of his mind the consequences. Deep down we KNOW we keep no secrets from the Lord God, but we simply do not allow ourselves to think about it in order to facilitate the dark desires of our hearts. We create a fictional autonomy in our minds that we hope establishes a wall between our sin and the searching gaze of God. Problem is, it never works.

Pathetic though it is, we not only nurture our secret sins at home, we take them with impunity into the assembly of the saints. We sing, we pray, we listen to (or even preach and teach) sermons, and our secret sins are yet securely hidden unchallenged in our hearts. There may be a spark of guilt or remorse, even a little resolve to "go forth and sin no more," but there is no experience of genuine repentance and within days , if not hours or mere minutes we drag our hidden sins from their shallow grave and embrace them as our secret love once again. What folly we are capable of! What self-deception! What dreadful duplicity comes natural to us! It is staggering! We perform our perfunctory religious duties and think that we have pulled a magic spiritual cloak over ourselves, when in fact, we merely add to our condemnation.

Perhaps in some twisted way, some take solace in the notion that the condemnation of secret sins awaits only future experience… in the final judgement, and are content to roll the dice that on the final day everything will work out anyway. The problem with that is that God sometimes deals with the secret sins in this life through chastisement and exposure. Consider Aninias and Sapphira (Acts 5: 1-11) whose secret sin was exposed and judged with finality in THIS life. Secret sin is never a safe bet, in this life, or the life to follow. We need to repent of our hidden sins now, this moment, and throw ourselves on the great mercy of God. And God who sees our hearts better than we do will be faithful to forgive, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Psalm 44:21, I Cor 4:5, Job 34:21

– David Leach