I’m pretty sure we’ve all done something wrong and thought, “No-one will know. It’s not like it’s that big a deal anyway. If nobody gets hurt, then it’s fine.” This is what Satan wants you to believe. God knows what you do in secret, it IS a big deal to Him, and people DO get hurt.
Now, we’ve all done it. Just a sin. Not that noticeable in God’s viewpoint from way up on his throne in Heaven. Even if God did see, he’d probably just say that it’s ok, and to do better next time. This is a lie. It’s exactly what Satan wants you to buy into. Making excuses, patting yourself on the back, and shrugging off recurring sin; it’s all a deception from the cruel deceiver himself. But this is not what God wants. It’s what he loathes, in fact. Deep down, it’s being unrepentant of sin, and it’s refusing to face secret problems with sin in our life.
Why is Secret Sin Wrong?
When you sin, you displease God. When you keep your sins secret, it gets worse. If you sin and someone knows, (your parents for example) then at least they can correct you and help you to overcome the sin. If no-one knows about the sin but you and God, then it gives you opportunities to keep sinning because you aren’t allowing your parents to do their job and help you overcome it. One of the many reasons God gave us parents and authority figures in our life (like pastors) is to correct us and keep us accountable. When we keep our sins hidden from them, it defeats the purpose. They won’t be able to help us overcome sin unless they know HOW to help us. We must make our struggles known to those God gave to help us.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16
This is simply saying that we should confess our sins to others (as well as God) so they can pray for us and help us. It also tells us something about the power of prayer. It says that “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” This means that it really helps to have those who are righteous praying for us. This means our parents, pastor, or friends who are right with the Lord.
If you have secret sin in your life, then you need to tell someone. No, don’t just “make a point” to tell someone. Do it. If you don’t have parents, then go to your church’s pastor or someone you trust as a strong Christian who can help you. DON’T go to your casual friends, because this only causes hurt. I would encourage you to go to someone who you know is strong in their faith, who can pray for you, and help you overcome the sin; someone who is more of a spiritual peer then a friend.
Why not a friend? Because when you tell a friend, they are burdened with your secret as well as you. If you tell them to keep it a secret, that makes it harder. They are put under the pressure of whether or not to tell someone your secret. The secret sin is hurting you, and they are torn between telling someone and keeping the secret because you told them to. Obviously, this creates terrible situations that will only cause pain in the end. It’s best not to tell your casual friends about secret sin; instead, take it to a spiritual authority in your life and ask them to help you. Also, make SURE your parents know about it. God put them there to help us, and they need to know what’s going on in our lives.
I used to have secret sin in my life. It was absolutely horrible, and I was scared of telling anyone, so I took on my secret sins by myself. Let me tell you right now, it doesn’t work. I always ended up on my knees confessing to God for the stupid mistake I’d made again. My parents didn’t know, and I wasn’t willing to take it to them and confess. Finally one day, I was convicted to tell them, and after that I was completely changed. Yes, there were tears. Yes, it was REALLY hard at first. But after confessing my sin to my parents and letting them help me fight it, I became so free. I felt like I had been released from the worst bondage possible, and that I was now on God’s side; not against Him. It’s one of the best feelings you can have after being in bondage to sin. There have been bumps along the way, but now I am doing SO much better with my parents then without them. God isn’t just good; He’s amazing, and He WILL give you the strength to tell your parents or authorities about secret troubles in your life.
So confess your sins to God, but then confess them to others around you; namely, your parents and those you’ve hurt through your secret sin. Have someone strong in their faith pray for you and hold you accountable with your sin. Deal with the secret sin in your life and experience the wonderful freedom of walking shamelessly alongside our forgiving God.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” -Proverbs 28:13