By Nathele Graham
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Do you have any secrets? Secret thoughts you harbor, secret magazines you read, secret movies you watch? Even worldly people know right from wrong but are well able to ignore their conscience. Everyone has a conscience that burns a bit when we do wrong, and the more our conscience is ignored the easier it is to continue in sin.
Even if we try to hide our sin and keep it secret it will one day be brought out and judged. We would expect the secular world to cover or ignore sin, but a Christian has no excuse for allowing evil to enter his or her life and then practice it in secret. Christians have God’s Word and that is what should rule our life. We cannot hide anything from God. He knows our inner thoughts and when we yoke ourselves with ungodly people or do ungodly things, He knows. It is not a secret from Him.
Those of us who claim to be Christians should not take part in anything we feel we must keep secret, unless it is something for the glory of God. Our relationship with Christ should keep us from joining in on anything that is opposed to His ways. Too many Christians seem to put life into categories. There is one way to behave at work, another way to behave when around secular friends, another way when we are around Christian friends, and so on.
Before we accept Christ as our Savior we have no standard by which to pattern our actions, but upon accepting Christ there should be a change in our attitude and our desire should be to please Him.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
We should have no fellowship with darkness.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12).
It is easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we can hide our sin, or that the biblical view of sin is outdated. We can trick ourselves into thinking that if other people don’t know about our secret sin then no harm is done. That just isn’t true. When we hide things that we know are sinful, damage is done.
First and foremost our fellowship with Christ is damaged; we cannot embrace sin and still be in fellowship with Him. Then, because of our secrecy, our attitude will suffer and people around us get pushed away. Usually those who are being pushed away are other Christians, but they should be the ones we fellowship with. They are the ones who can help us to turn from sin…secret or open.
If you are a Christian, God already knows your sins and has forgiven you. That fact doesn’t mean it is acceptable for you to continue in sin. Repent. Ask Him to forgive you. Don’t continue in your sin.
Christians should put nothing ahead of Christ. His Word should be our guide in all things and we need to move away from secular friends and activities.
“Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen”(Deuteronomy 27:15).
This verse is talking about idols that men make, such as the golden calf, but anything in life that comes before God is an idol. A car or a house can qualify as an idol if they are above God in your love. The ungodly idols we secretly place on the altar of our hearts are an abomination to God. Our way of speaking, the jokes we tell, the activities we participate in should always reflect Christ.
One of the most despicable things in life is the entertainment industry, and many Christians won’t give up that idol. Television is Satan’s playground. Movies glorify sin, music sing the praises of sinful lifestyles and satanic activities. Most of what passes for entertainment should be banned. Yes, that is censorship, but these things are being heard and watched…taken into our lives and enshrined as idols.
Soon, what was once offensive and only done in secret begins to seem acceptable and is openly embraced. Sin takes on an enticing luster. Soon, Christ’s ways are rejected and sin is embraced. Evil things done in secret are damaging and will negatively affect your walk with our Lord. It is easy to keep away from secret sin if Christ is first in all we do.
“Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:27).
We always have a choice. We can choose to allow Christ to fill our whole being and let His light shine through all of our lives, or we make the choice to turn onto the broad road that leads to destruction and embrace sin whether secret or not. We shouldn’t do anything we would be ashamed to have Christ see…He does see everything.
The Holy Spirit is sealed within every Christian so when we think those angry thoughts about our co-workers or use those profane words when driving in the evening commute traffic, God hears. When you watch vulgar television or read pornographic magazines you are taking God into the gutter with you. You may think it is all done in secret, but you are wrong. God sees.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27).
Many Jews came to Jerusalem for Passover and were unfamiliar with the location of burial places. If a Jew came into contact with a tomb he was ceremonially unclean and would have to go through the purification process. In order to minimize the danger of this happening it was the usual practice for the tombs to be painted white. Making them pretty on the outside did not change the fact that there was death and corruption on the inside. The Creator of the universe knew the secret things that the Pharisees had hidden inside themselves. These men made an outward show of religion but tried to hide secret sins inside.
“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:28).
There is no difference between a Christian who tries to secretly hide sin in his or her heart and these Scribes and Pharisees who made an outward show of righteousness. Jesus knew they were full of dead men’s bones and uncleanness on the inside. What does He know about you?
Secret things aren’t always sin and opposed to God. Good deeds and unselfish giving are things that we should never do with great pomp and circumstance in order to gain the praise of men. These things should be done secretly so as to glorify God. Just as God sees secret sin, He also sees secret kindness.
“Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward” (Matthew 6:2).
When Jesus spoke these words He wanted His listeners to understand that it isn’t the kudos of men that we should seek, but the approval of God. The Pharisees were very good at making a big show of their good works so everyone would be impressed with them, but Jesus called them “whited sepulchres.”
Christians need to do everything for God’s glory. If someone sees your good works, don’t pat yourself on the back and take the glory for yourself—give God the glory.
“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” (Matthew 6:3).
The secret things that glorify God are a result of living for Him. If you are trying to hide sinful secret things they will sully the good things you do in secret. Guilt over your evil secrets may cause you to brag to others about your good works in order to cover up the sin you hope will be kept secret. God sees all that you do, good and bad…nothing is secret from Him.
Is it possible to not harbor secret sin? As long as we live on this side of heaven we will always have the sin nature. We will always have to make the conscience choice to follow Christ instead of choosing to sin.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Our desire should be to please God. I have a friend who is a lovely Christian lady and I turn to her when I need advice or have a problem. I know her words will be truthful and based on God’s Word. She chooses to put God’s Word into the secret places of her heart by reading her Bible every day. She studies a devotional that takes her to various places in God’s Word, but she also reads one chapter from Proverbs daily as well as at least one psalm. God’s Word is alive in her. When she has a choice she doesn’t have to wonder what Jesus would do, she knows. His Word isn’t hidden beneath dirty little secrets of worldly things like secular music or worldly television shows. Secret things need to be godly things, not evil. When we need to know God’s will we shouldn’t have to peel off layers of secret sin in order to find His truth.
I’ve heard it said that we grow to resemble the god we serve. If you have secret things inside of you that are not acceptable to God Almighty then you are serving a false god—a devil—and you will grow to resemble the ugliness of Satan. If the secret things you do aren’t things you would share with a fellow Christian, then you need to pray for God’s cleansing.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me”(Psalm 51:10).
If the secret things you hide are those of godly virtue and good works that glorify Christ, then you will grow kinder and more loving. You will not be ashamed to have God know the secret things within you.
God bless you all,