Confession is said to be good for the soul. The Bible tells us that it is a necessity for eternal life.
Romans 10:9-11 says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ “
Confession of faith is quite different than confessing to things we’d rather keep private.
Secrets, we all have them. Most of us don’t make our lives open books to be left out on the coffee table for anyone to read.
Some of our secrets are nothing more than private moments that only our family and trusted friends have shared with us. They may not be anything scandalous like an affair, or a crazy night that landed us in the county jail.
The intimate details of our lives helped to shape us into who we are today. A most embarrassing moment, or that crush we had in junior high or high school might be the type of information we only share when we know it will be kept in strict confidence.
Many live with heavy hearts. The downcast look worn on their face can be a sign of mistakes made–regret and perhaps shame about a private moment of weakness or failure. One that they feel they can share. One that causes them to live under a burden of guilt.
Secrets can be found everywhere: in national politics, the entertainment and sports industries, the corporate world, or rural neighborhoods. Many times, however, the secrets are not “taken to the grave.” A nosey neighbor, malicious gossip, or a relentless journalist paid to dig up “dirt” on someone may come along and divulge the information we had hoped would remain private.
We are not required to share every past sin or indiscretion with the world. It may be true, but we must ask ourselves, “Do I need to share it?” If the secret is toxic to my life and relationships, then it may be necessary. If a public confession of personal guilt brings with it unnecessary pain to someone else, perhaps it is best to remain silent.
No one is exempt from the potential of their own personal “bombshell story” being revealed. If we have a secret, and anyone else knows about it, there may come a day when everyone else does as well. There is no statute of limitations on secrets.
It is not our secret, however, but how we deal with its revelation that is important. As Christians, we must be honest and not try to conceal the truth. There may be fallout from the revelation of a past sin, but our reaction must reveal our character in Christ today.
We all carry guilt and shame. Jesus gave himself up on the cross for that very reason–for every single soul. When we confess our sin, accept His offer of forgiveness and repent, our burden is lifted. Our sins are forgotten.
People, however, do not forget and they are not always forgiving.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we live our lives following Jesus’ example of holiness. Our lives are our witness to the world.
We should all prayerfully consider service in a position that could bring our lives under a microscope and the effect it could have on the kingdom of God. At the same time, we cannot let the fear of public scrutiny deter us from effective ministry or honorable public service.
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened” (1 Peter 3:14, NLT).
Would you be willing to risk your privacy for public service or ministry? What secret might be holding you back from what God is calling you to do?