“You’re Only As Sick As Your Secrets.” That’s a common phrase in recovery circles. We are sick (addicted, stuck in besetting sin, miserable, not moving forward, failing in life, hurting those who love us) because we can’t bring ourselves to do the very hardest thing we may ever do: tell someone about our problem(s).
If I had to search through every moment of my life, seeking the one thing that kept me from “getting better”, I think I would find that it was keeping my problems a secret. For, God has used many people in my life to help me. Most of them weren’t even in my life until I released the secret of my sexual sins and unwanted attractions. And, none of them would have been able to help me unless I spoke up.
It is for this reason that I love James 5:16a; it’s become one of my favorite verses:
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
All those wasted years — decades — because I was scared. Scared most of losing my wife and kids. Scared of what people would think. Scared of what it would do to my ability to serve God in the church, as I have done in one way or another for most of my adult life, mostly through music.
And, of course, I had someone whispering in my ear all that time, that if I ever let out those secrets, I would certainly see all my fears come true. Satan wants to keep us in our sin. Sometimes I think that he gets more satisfaction out of keeping Christians in their sin than in keeping them from getting saved in the first place.
I heard a song today, which led me to write this post. It’s not a new song, and I’ve heard it before. In fact, one of our local hospitals even uses this song in their TV commercials. While I find hospitals advertising a little strange, the fact that one plays a Christian song while doing so makes me appreciate living in the Bible Belt. This time, when it came on Pandora, I actually paid close attention to the words. Some songs go in one ear and out the other for me, even after I’ve heard them numerous times (maybe because I’ve heard them so many times). Others stick to my heart the first time I hear them. I hope to figure out why that is, and allow all of them in every time.
The song is “Healing Begins,” by Tenth Avenue North. Perhaps I miss the main message in this song because I’m so used to hearing it in that commercial, where they focus on the phrase in the song, “This is where the healing begins.” I associate that with the physical healing that takes place at the hospital (ahh…they got me with their message). It hit me as I listened to it today that it talks about secrets. I’ve copied part of it below:
Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won’t disappear
This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark
I don’t pretend that, regardless of what a song or the Bible says, or what my experience has been, it will be easy for you. In fact, it was excruciating for me the first time I told someone what was going on with me. And the second time. After that, it got easier. I do believe God, when it’s time, will give you the strength to say it, and the wisdom to know who is safe to say it to, and when is the right time.
Maybe the time isn’t right for you to tell your secret(s) right now. God has everything in place for you, in His timing. But, on the other hand, maybe He has everything in place, just waiting for you to decide to open your mouth and share with someone. I can’t know that for you; only God knows, but if He’s ready for you to know, you’ll know. Pray about it regularly, and seek wise counsel from mature Christ-followers.