I began eating in secret when I was about six years old. My dad brought home a stash of chocolate bars and little bags of potato chips from a restaurant where he’d done some electrical work. The restaurant owner was doing a remodel job and needed to clear out his storage room, so he sent boxes of this stuff home with whoever was helping him at the time.
Dad put the boxes under the stairwell and gave me and my siblings strict orders to ask for permission before helping ourselves. The way I figured, he and Mom would probably say no if I asked them for a treat, so why bother? I hid under the stairwell, in the dark, and munched whenever the urge struck. As if I wouldn’t eventually get caught, right?
Fast forward 54 years.
Several months ago, it suddenly dawned on me that I’d carried this behavior into my adulthood. In the past, I emptied large bags of chips into plastic containers to keep them fresh, yes, but moreso to avoid the noise made when opening the original packaging. If I could break into my chips quietly, then no one would know what I was doing. In the more recent past, I kept a stash of chocolate bars hidden in a closet in my office. I always made sure I disposed of the wrappers appropriately lest someone see them in the trash and discover my little secret.
Snacking on junk food in secret didn’t turn out well for me. When eaten in excess—publicly or in private—calories eventually do damage. My health suffered, and I paid dearly.
Today, even though I’ve been on a wellness journey for four years, I’m still tempted to eat in secret. Sometimes I give in, but more often—thankfully—I’m now able to resist. What motivates me to say no? I’ve experienced the joy of feeling strong and healthy. I know the thrill of doing physical activities I never thought I’d be able to do. I know the freedom that comes from living a life with nothing to hide.
King David tried to hide his wrongdoing, too, but things didn’t turn out well. Before he came clean about his affair with another man’s wife, he felt weak and miserable and groaned all day long. He felt God’s heavy hand of discipline upon him, and his strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. (Psalm 32:3-4)
Everything changed when King David stopped trying to hide his sin. “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone” (Psalm 32:5). He traded a heavy burden of secrecy and shame for freedom and joy.
We might try to hide sin from God and others, but the evidence of its presence shows up sooner or later, and it’s never pretty. It will always have a negative effect on us in some way or another. The cost just isn’t worth it.
The good news is—confessing our sin changes everything for us. God takes it away and puts it out of sight. He doesn’t just hide it somewhere else. He removes it—and our guilt—from us, and we are then able to experience the freedom that comes from living a life of complete honesty. (Psalm 32:1,2,5)
Hiding sin is not worth it, my friend. It will hurt you. God has better things in store, and it starts with coming clean.
#bgbg2 #confession #GodForgives #NewStart #Christiandevotions