Archives For Secret Sin

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“And such were some of you.”

Paul wrote those words in the context of a list of sins inconsistent with inheriting the kingdom of God. It isn’t an exhaustive list but a list nonetheless that helps us capture the picture. He names the sexually immoral, the idolaters, the adulterers, the practicing of homosexuality, the thieves, the greedy, the drunkards, the revilers, and swindlers. In this broken world, Paul illuminates our collective brokenness but doesn’t leave us hopeless in our brokenness. Instead, Paul composes a way forward to ultimate healing.

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.”

This side of wholeness is a difficult place to advance. Our sins often work to claim us and shape us. It is a never-ending battle. A battle against the voice that speaks to you, “It is who you are, give in, give over.” However, there is another voice that speaks, a groaning in us. A groaning of the Spirit of God inside of us. A groaning that calls us onward to a day in the future where there is no more sin. A place where our sins that live on this side of wholeness will be buried forever, never to tempt us or disfigure us again.

Take time today to read that list of sins found in 1 Corinthians but don’t focus on the sins with which you have no struggle. Instead, concentrate on the one’s you know you have lurking in your closet. Only then can you identify with the struggles of others who fight a different sin from yours.

paint

I learned my first two cuss words in the second grade. Yeah, I know that’s early, but it’s how I roll. Anyway, I was sitting in class, and the teacher had to go out for a while and said she would be back in fifteen minutes. She put a monitor in charge and out the door she went.

Two of my best friends were sitting next to me, and one of them without warning got up and walked right to the chalkboard. He picked up a stick of chalk and wrote two cuss words on the board. I was shocked! The class was shocked! I didn’t even actually know what they meant, but I knew they were bad.

I was sinfully intrigued. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and reading. My friend took his seat, and the class just kind of looked at him in disbelief. No one moved, and no one was saying a word. The teacher soon came back and was shocked and blown away. She ran to the front of the class and erased the words. However, it wasn’t erased from my mind.

Our teacher interviewed a few kids and finally got the name of my friend. Needless to say, he got into big time trouble. The day finally ended, and I took the bus ride home. I couldn’t get the words off my mind. I knew they were wrong, but I was being pulled in. Once I got off the bus I made my way to my dads shop to do my after school chores. He always had me clean up the tool room and sweep.

While doing my chores, I came across some black spray paint. Now don’t ask me how I connected black spray paint and cuss words, but I did. An idea was birthed faster than a squirrel moving out of the way for an oncoming car. Before I could think it through, I had the can in my hand and had found my way behind my dads shop to perform my first and last graffiti project.

I stood there, and I could feel my heart beating in my chest. I knew it was wrong what I was about to do, but I couldn’t help myself. I had my own metal chalkboard in front of me, and I wanted to feel what my friend felt when he wrote those cuss words. I shook up the can and began to write both words. I painted them tremendously big, and when I was done I stepped back to view my handy work. Everything was quite as I looked at what I had just done.

Suddenly the silence was broken by the voice of my Father calling my name. I went into full panic mood! I threw the can away in the bushes and took off running in what I thought was the opposite direction of his voice only to run headlong into him. I looked up and there he was looking back at me with the eyes of a Father who know something was up.

I was breathing heavy and sweating from running. He asked me, “What were you doing back here Stevie?” “Nothing Dad,” came my reply. He then took hold of my hands and pulled them up toward his face. He then asked me, “What is this black paint doing on your hand?” I began to cry. I knew I was caught. I also knew my punishment would be much worse than what my teacher did to my friend.

He took me by the shoulder and turned me around and said, “Show me what you painted.” I was horrified but knew I had to show him. As we made our way back to the wall I had painted my heart was racing, and I was crying even more now. Shortly we came to the spot and there it was for the whole world to see. My two cuss words I had painted stood big and tall on the metal wall.

I felt my dads hand tighten on my shoulder. I knew an old fashion country woopin was a coming. I deserved it! I had it coming. I knew I had done wrong, and punishment was the right thing to do. I was going to have to man up and take it. However, what happened next I will remember forever.

My dad’s hand loosened from my shoulder. He bent down beside me and whispered in my ear, “You spelled one of the words wrong.” I felt my heart melt. I looked him in the eyes, and he looked back into mine. I felt my tears drying up, and I felt grace and mercy for the very first time in my life. It felt better than anything I had ever experienced.

That day my Father showed me the grace of his Father, which was Christ. My Father died when I was 18, but I will never forget that day. Maybe you have done something wrong today or yesterday, and you need grace and mercy. You will find it with the Father. He knows what you have done, and He is ready to forgive if you will just turn to Him.

Romans 5:20

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

walking_zombies-11276

God wants our private life, and our public life to line up for His glory. It’s been said, “Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage.”

There have been times in my life that I’ve played the hypocrite. For example, I’m kind to those in the church body, and even to total strangers. You would never find me raising my voice in uncontrolled anger to someone outside my family. (Well, almost never)

However, there have been times in my life, I find myself doing the opposite of the right thing. I find myself not being patience with my family. I find myself raising my voice to my children, instead of treating them with proper respect.

How about you today? Have you experienced similar things in your own life? Maybe even something much darker? Maybe you have a private sin you have kept hidden away from the world. You keep telling yourself that it hurts nobody but you. However, deep down you know that’s not the truth. Your hidden sin makes you more and more depressed, and you find yourself taken your angry, and frustrations out on those you love the most.

Private faithfulness is the true test of where you are in your walk with Christ. If your private faith is off track, you public faith is a walking zombie.

In 2 Samuel, chapter 12, the story of King David committing adultery, and murder is shared. If you have time read the whole chapter. David concealed his sin, but God eventually sent Nathan to confront him. David ends up repenting in Psalm 51 and asks God to restore the joy of his salvation. David repented and realigned his public and private faith.

If you are having trouble letting go of a private sin I want to offer you a challenge.  I want you to visualize something for me for the next 7 days.

glasshouse

Visualize your home, and your life, as a glass house that everyone can see what you doing. Would you choose to sin? Most likely you wouldn’t.  Here in North Carolina, there is a town called McAdenville. Each year, many of the residents decorate their homes with Christmas lights. People drive from everywhere to view the homes and lights.

From the outside, it all looks good. However, on the inside of those homes are real people with real lives. It would be amazing if all those homes were glass. I bet the people on the inside would live their best life knowing that everyone could see them.

Go ahead; give it a try this week. Visualize yourself as a glass house and see how much better you do.