Three nine year olds are playing nicely together in a large room of toys. They are good friends and have done this many times before. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of noise going on with them playing and talking back and forth. One child leans over to another and beings to whisper something. It’s a secret.
I can almost guarantee the one who’s left out is not happy. He demands to know what they are talking about. He doesn’t want to feel excluded. While there is a time and place to tell and keep secrets, under these circumstances it’s rude.
Secrets are simply a part of life. Unless another person is with me from birth to death, every minute of every day, and can read my thoughts there is no way for someone to know everything about me. It is hard to believe anyone who would want his life read like an open book. Who wants embarrassing or shameful moments made public? Personal business and finances are no one else’s concern. We all want private matters kept private.
Let’s look at secrets as mentioned in the Bible. First, God has His own secrets from men, but He has revealed all we need to know about Him. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29)
No one can keep anything secret from God, in fact He knows us better than we know ourselves. “My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” (Psalms 139:15-16)
God sees every shameful act and even knows our thoughts and intents. He knows the deepest issues of our heart. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:12-13)
There are times when we need to keep secrets. When two individuals discuss private issues between themselves, there’s a need to keep those matters confidential. “Debate your case with your neighbor, And do not disclose the secret to another; Lest he who hears it expose your shame, And your reputation be ruined.” (Prov. 25:9-10)
It can be shameful to even speak of some acts done in secret. While we should plainly condemn all sin, we need to take care to not give credibility by the way we talk about evil. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (12) For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” (Eph. 5:11-12)
Be careful to whom you tell secrets, because some people can’t wait to tell juicy gossip. They have no concern about the damaged caused or pain inflicted. “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” (1 Tim. 5:13)
We cannot avoid having our secrets made known on the Day of Judgment. You might be able to hide deeds and thoughts from man, but not from God. “For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.” (Eccl. 12:14)
By Terry Starling