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My Mother’s Christmas Wish

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Secret Sin

“You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” Psalm 90:8 (NIV)

As I listened to a dear friend confess something from her past during Bible study, I quietly kept my eyes focused on my feet but my heart was pounding. I tried and failed to ignore the truth: I knew how she felt. I had something hidden, too.
We were challenged by our Bible study leader the week before to ask the Lord to show us hidden sin in our lives that we needed to offer up to Him for forgiveness.
Sandy shared that while she was at work, she had accidentally bumped into a box on the floor and heard glass breaking. She peeked inside and saw an expensive chandelier with one of its globes in pieces. She was devastated because she knew how expensive it must have been and she did not have the money to replace it.
In a moment of panic, she walked away without saying a word. It had been almost two months and she had tried to forget the incident. She had failed.
“I want you all to pray for me,” she told us. “I have to make this right. I really feel the Lord telling me that, no matter the outcome, I have sinned by not confessing to Him and to my boss what had happened.”
Sandy had no idea that I, too, had accepted our study leader’s challenge and now wrestled with a secret sin that had happened – not months ago – but years ago.
I was a high school freshman and in a speech class. A really good friend of mine was debating a topic with one of the boys in the class. I honestly do not remember the topic but I do remember that more than anything I wanted her to win.
They each gave excellent arguments and after they finished, the class voted on the winner. Our teacher asked me to count the votes.
I began to count and I could see that it was going to be close. As I opened the last 4 ballets, I realized that my friend had lost. And that’s what I should have told the teacher when she asked me who won. But I didn’t.
In a split second I made the decision to lie. “Megan won” I told her. She looked straight into my eyes and asked “Are you sure?” and I repeated the lie. “Yes, I’m sure” I told her as I gathered up the ballots and threw them in the trash.
And I hid that lie – I thought – from everyone. I even rationalized my decision. Megan had worked a lot harder on her speech than he had. She was better prepared. Even if she didn’t actually win, she should have.
For years I thought I had kept that lie hidden. That is, until the Lord gently but firmly reminded me through Sandy and her transparent heart.
Today’s Key Scripture in Psalm 90:8 addresses what Moses referred to as “secret sins.” We try to hide them away as if we can keep God from finding out. Wrong.
There are no secret sins with God. He knows and sees everything. Scripture says that while we may think our secret sins are “hidden” in darkness, the light of God’s presence shows them crystal clear.
How about you? Do you have a secret sin stored away, hoping that no one will ever find out?
Please please know that no matter what it is, there is healing and peace when you take it before the Lord. His extreme love for you and His mercy, grace and forgiveness cover ALL sin. Did you get that? All. There’s nothing that you have done that He cannot or will not forgive.
Two weeks after Sandy’s confession in our group, she shared that she had gone to her boss, told her what had happened and offered to pay for the broken globe. Sandy also asked for forgiveness. The relief that she felt was indescribable, she said, as her boss thanked her for telling the truth and forgave her.
Her testimony gave me courage to confess my secret sin and ask for forgiveness, too. It was embarrassing and humiliating but I was met with love and forgiveness.
And the Lord? His forgiveness was instant and His grace unbelievable. I made a decision, too: no more secret sin for me.

Father, as much as it may hurt, please show me my secret sins so I can be cleansed and receive mercy and forgiveness from you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Can you think of a situation when you sinned but tried to keep it secret so no one would know? Did you consider that God knew what you did?

Meditate on today’s Key Scripture and ask the Lord to show you any sin that you have hidden in your heart.

Journal what He has shown you in His Word. Spend time in prayer and then make every effort to confess to the person involved, ask for forgiveness, and lay it all down at the feet of Jesus.

Psalm 90:8 (NIV) “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”
Proverbs 28:13 (NIV) “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Psalm 119:11 (NIV) “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

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Copyright 2010  Nancy E. Hughes