Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Ephesians 5: 10-14 NRSV
In every church that I have been a part of, I have also been aware of the reality of secrets people keep deep down in their souls. Sometimes they tell me about them, other times they do not. Often their smiles, love, kind words and actions really do hide dirty laundry. Sometimes it is the only way for them to cope.
But Paul seems to suggest that we should bring these things to light.
I really struggle with this.
As a pastor on our Conference Ministerial Integrity Team, I hear stories of abuse by both members and pastors. This doesn't even begin to cover issues of addictions, spousal abuse, stealing, illegal business practices and criminal activities of those sitting there in the pews (and the pulpit!).
Paul is a bit vague here in these verses - we aren't supposed to mention these things but we are to expose them. I think what he is really saying is perhaps we should begin with ourselves. Try to find out first what God wants me to do. If that means exposing my own secrets and sins, then do it. This is because we have all died to our sins, our secrets, our shameful deeds and we arise resurrected in the new life of Christ. We should no longer take part in these things but do what is pleasing to God in Christ.
Christ will then truly shine in us.
God, thank you that we can die to all the secrets in our lives and rise to new life in Christ. Amen.
Question for the day: Are there any secrets in my own personal life that need to be exposed?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims