September 4th

Fear of Exposure

20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."  John 3:20-21 NIV 

20For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved.  21But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are--wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God's help, in dependence upon Him].  John 3:20-21 AMP 

Fear of exposure seems to be a common element in sex addiction.  People often fear that divulging their secret sin may bring reproach, condemnation and/or require them to surrender their pet sin.  The cost of breaking secrecy may seem too high for some people, and they will likely continue to dive deeper into depravity unless they are caught “in the act.”   

The fear of exposure strives to protect the strongholds of sin in our lives.  When we’re deep in our sin and enjoying it, we won’t want to go to church, have a quiet time, establish accountability or develop meaningful relationships with others in Christ.   Those kinds of activities may bring us out of our comfort zone and threaten the security of our “secret-sin-fortress.” 

Fear of exposure also affects our relationship with God.  It causes us to hate the light of God (i.e. truth) which exposes our evil deeds for what they are.  We shrink back from the light because it strips our sin of its false luster and brings our fantasy world to an abrupt halt.  Perhaps we think we can somehow keep our sin hidden from God and prevent our sin-stunned conscience from being revived.  This reminds me of how Adam and Eve tried to hide from God among the trees after they sinned (Genesis 3:8-10).  How ridiculous it is for us to think that we could hide anything from the all-knowing, all-seeing Creator! 

When we decide to “practice truth” (live by it; do what is right), we’ll feel the conviction to break the secrecy concerning our sin and no longer live in the shadows.  If we yield to this God-given conviction, we will destroy the power of fear that had been influencing us.  We’ll need to use wisdom about who to tell, when to talk and what to say.  The best place to start for this wisdom is by asking God to reveal the appropriate people in our lives that we are to confide in (James 1:5).   

Living in the light is challenging, as everyone can see us and the mistakes we may make.  However, transparency provides a great medium for people to see God working in us.  We can take comfort in that we’re not living this life alone.  We have God living inside us right now!  He will help us avoid obstacles, resist temptations and make right decisions.  If we fall, he will be right there to help us get up and get back on the straight path. 

Living in the light will open the door for a wonderful relationship with God and others who love him. God created us to connect with him and each other on the basis of truth in the deepest levels of our being.  When we’ve exposed and purged the secret sin, deceit is removed and truth can reign in all of our parts.  We are then best prepared to enjoy true intimacy with God and people who love him.    

There is nothing more stimulating than a friend who is real and open about their life and walk with God.  When people are willing to share what’s really going on inside, true communication and relationship can prosper.  On the flip side of that, there’s nothing more stifling than trying to be a friend to a person who refuses to let you in to their life, who refuses to let you get any deeper with them than surface issues. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you for the light of your truth.  I desire to walk in your light.  I confess the sins that I have protected and tried to hide from your sight and those around me:___________ (specify).  Please forgive me from these sins and purify my conscience with the blood of Jesus.  I pray for wisdom and courage regarding people I may need to confide in.  Please guide me by your Holy Spirit and teach me how to walk in truth every day.  Thank you, Lord!  I praise and worship you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”