October 11th

 

Confessing Secret Sin

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. 
 
Psalm 31:9-10 NKJV 

Secret sin is usually involved with sex addiction.  I hear from people each week who are secretly feeding their sexual lusts through a variety of outlets.  Often they are unwilling to expose their habits, due to fear, shame, not wanting to hurt people or simply not wanting to quit.   They find it easier to confide in a stranger about this very personal struggle, than go to those closest to them.  

David was a man who had secret sin.  He talked about how that sin affected him when he kept it hidden.  It actually caused physical and emotional sickness!  David later decided to do the right thing by confessing his sin to God: 

I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah   Psalm 32:5 NKJV 

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me.  Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.  Psalm 19:12-13 NKJV 

David’s confessions cleared the way for God’s forgiveness and cleansing.  He also asked God to help him stop “presumptuous” sinning and to prevent sin from ruling over him.   

If you have secret sin in your life, how is it affecting you?  Could it be contributing to physical and emotional problems, as was the case for David?  Does it rule your life?  People often try to fool themselves by thinking that their secrets won’t hurt them.  It’s kind of a “self-blinding” mechanism that numbs them to the reality of how sin is really affecting them. 

The way to start breaking free of secret sin’s grip is to confess it to God and to fellow Christians.   Consider what John wrote: 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9 NKJV 

Confession yields forgiveness and cleansing.  When we confess to other Christians, we have additional doors of healing and forgiveness that are opened to us: 

16Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 NIV. 

Finding a trustworthy brother or sister in Christ to confide in can be a challenge.  Granted, there is hypocrisy in the church, but there are many people who still live for God.  If we ask God to help us find a person to confess to, I believe he will do it.  We must be willing to stop hiding behind excuses and to make the effort to build relationships with people as God leads us.  It will require that we risk getting vulnerable.    

When we let people into our private lives, we give them an opportunity to pray for us and encourage us to live for God.  It also shatters the power of fear.  People’s reactions may not be as bad as we thought they might be.  For example, when I shared my porn addiction with my men’s prayer group, 5 out of the 6 men mentioned they had struggled with porn.  I also found that my relationships with those six men were generally strengthened as a result. 

For more info, see Break Secrecy

Questions for further thought

Prayer

“Lord God, please have mercy on me.  If there is any secret sin in my life, I confess it to you right now: _________________(list).  If there is any secret sin that I have not yet recognized, please reveal it to me now. (Pause for silent prayer time)  I confess the things that you have shown me now as well: ____________________ (list).  I repent from all of these sins.  Please forgive me and cleanse me, Father, as your word says you will.  Thank you for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for my sin!  If I have withdrawn from meaningful relationships with Christians, please lead me in building new relationships for mutual confession, prayer and encouragement in the faith.  Please give me courage to be real with people and put on humility each day.  Thank you, Father!  I praise you and worship you today!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”