Psychologists say that everyone keeps about 13 secrets, 5 of which they have never told another soul. The study, done in 2017, concluded that carrying these secrets is actually damaging to the human psyche or soul.
In a search for answers concerning this, one could, of course, turn to the Greatest Physician ever, Who spoke on it somewhat directly.
This comment by Jesus must have been made multiple times, as Luke re-records it later:
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (Luke 12:2-3)
Many times, people hide things because of the shame associated with it. People often come to a place of amazing freedom simply by being honest about what was previously hidden. It is not uncommon for people to “forget” events in their lives simply by suppressing and denying that the event ever occurred at all. Facing the excruciating pain of acknowledging the event seems too overwhelming, so a pathway of denial and stuffing is pursued instead. Denial seems like a good idea at the time, but dragging that secret along is exhausting and eventually brings real damage to the individual, their health, peace, relationships, and even their sanity. The phenomenon of ‘deny until forgotten’ is especially prevalent among girls who experienced abuse in their early years.
One day, Jesus looked up in a tree and saw a short man there with secrets who was curious about this Jesus. When the Lord said his name, it must have sent shockwaves through the man. After all, if He knows my name, what else does He know? During the ensuing meal at the man’s house, he was overcome with the words of Life, and realized there was no place to hide the secrets anymore. Rising in repentance, he committed to unearthing every secret and bringing legal restitution to every one of them. Upon this scene, Jesus pronounced that salvation had come to that house.
Paul declared that the coming judgment would deal with the secrets men carry. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Rom. 2:16) There are, perhaps, secrets in our hearts we may never really know consciously (such as our motivations for what we do), but they will be revealed that day. So will all the ones we do remember and choose to hide. The same Jesus that knew what Zacchaeus’ had done knows how many hairs are on your head; nothing is hidden from Him but is open and naked before Him. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Heb. 4:13)
In the end, we answer to the Creator of Heaven and earth, not public opinion, the gossip line, or our neighbor. We should live openly. If there are things hidden in your life that you are dragging behind you today, can I urge you to find someone you trust and open up? If you are seated IN Christ, that is your identity, and the shame of your past cannot overwhelm you. We do not get to choose IF our secrets get exposed; we only get to choose WHEN. Life is too short to waste hiding what will ultimately come into the open anyway, and it damages us as we hide it.
God Bless your transparency! -Steve Stutzman