Secrets: How to stop hiding

Take a trip with me back in time. Way back to the dawn of creation, when Adam & Eve lived the good life in the Garden of Eden. They had a pretty sweet deal there. That is, until that infamous day, when as politicians are sometimes fond of saying, in gross understatement, “Mistakes were made”. Note Adam & Eve’s mindset just before to the “incident”: We are told that “neither of them felt any shame” (Gen 2:25). Yet just afterwards, how do they react? “Toward evening they heard the LORD God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees.” (Gen 3:8) Gee, that makes sense. “God’s coming! // Quick! Into the trees!”

The sad thing is this incident marked the beginning of humankind’s tenancy to try to hide from God. We are still trying to hide from God today. How futile is that? We have to remember that whatever is done in “secret” is not really secret at all. Even if we have been able to fool our family and friends, God is not fooled, and He “carefully watches the way people live; He sees everything they do.” (Job 34:21), so our attempts to hide our sin amount to nothing more than hiding among the trees.

Since “it is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret” (Ephesians 5:12), what about the things that we shamefully do in secret? Do we keep secret sin hidden in our hearts? Even Christians, who personally know Jesus our God, and have been redeemed by His blood? Unfortunately, we still do stumble, and we must recognize we are still sinners. “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.” But by continually returning to God by readjusting our lives we have hope: “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (1 John 1:8,9)

Temptation to sin is a constant part of our lives, but continue this study to think about what our loving and forgiving yet just and righteous God has to say to you about your secret sins today.

1. Is there some part of your life that you have been keeping hidden from your friends, family, co-workers, God? Why are you hiding it? More thoughts...
Remember Adam & Eve. Why were they hiding?
2. Read John 8:1-11. Describe how Jesus might react to your secret sin being revealed and what specific instructions he might give to you in dealing with it? More thoughts...
Jesus does not condemn the woman; He forgives her. But He gives her specific instruction before she leaves.
3. Think about the circumstances or situations that lead to sinful behavior. What triggers sin? More thoughts...
Consider, for example, Matthew 6:13, part of the Lord's Prayer: "And don't let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
4. What role might prayer play in resisting temptation? More thoughts...
Paul tells us to "pray continually". Psalm 119:11 says "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Describe what impact praying or not praying would have on temptation to sin.
5. How can confession of sin help you overcome your temptation? More thoughts...
Examine James 5:16: "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results."
6. Who do you know that could you feel comfortable confidentially confessing or discussing these secrets with? More thoughts...
If you would like to speak to someone discreetly and privately online, see the top of this page for several free resources.
7. When we accept Jesus into our lives and the Holy Spirit dwells within us we are reborn. What does this mean to you? How and why does your old former life sometimes come creeping back? More thoughts...
Consider 2 Corinthians 5:17: "What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!"
8. Read 1 Corinthians 10:12-13. What is God's promise to you today regarding temptation to sin? More thoughts...
Talk about how you feel about temptation and how you feel before and after you sin. Where can you go for help when you are tempted?
9. I have the following questions or comments regarding this study.
10. Please pray for me in these areas.
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