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Just the Opposite

“You hit that car!”

“They’re pulling over!”

“They’re turning around!”


Ugh!  I didn’t mean to hit the car when I was throwing rocks at my older brother across the highway.  What should I do?

At age five I was discovering something that I probably knew already:  I was capable of doing bad things. 

And now I was in trouble.  What should I do?

I didn’t even have to think about it.  I turned around and ran back up my driveway.  Not to my house, but to the back of an outdoor shed.  That would be a good hiding place, I thought.  But, in no time, here comes my mom with a stranger who doesn’t look very happy.

I did what Adam and Eve did.  I hid.  And, that’s what most of us are inclined to do when we mess-up.  When we, what the Bible calls – sin.

Sure, we do a lot of other things too.  We try to ignore our sins, accept them as still better than the curve (we can always think of someone worse), compartmentalize them by hiding them away in a box, compensate for them by trying really, really hard in other areas, or just settle on hating ourselves. No good options there. 

We’re convinced that if we honestly look at who we are God won’t like us and no one else will either.

There are incredible words in 1 John 1:1-2:2 that show that just the opposite happens when we are honest about our sins.  Using the image for being totally transparent by walking in the light, we discover that honest confession allows God to do his best stuff for us – be faithful, just, forgive, transform.  Honesty also puts Jesus into play,  as the one who cleanses and goes to bat for us.

In other words, having a hidden life prevents us from the best expression of God’s love and power.

Plus, when you bring something into the light, it loses its power to shame and to control.  I learned very early in ministry that whenever I felt attracted to someone other than my wife, if I quickly told a friend/confessor about it, the attraction lost its power and potential for anything further.  What a relief.  Bad stuff grows in the dark, but dies in the light.

Do you have a friend to whom you can confess?  You’ll always be at risk of hiding until you do. 


  1. It occurs to me that one of the reasons Jesus sent his disciples out two by two might have to do with what you are sharing.   With a ready partner and confessor handy, things have no time to fester in the dark!