Posts Tagged ‘secrets’

Oil painting by Jonathan Queen

Oil painting by Jonathan Queen

Double mindedness sounds bad. It has varying meanings. In scripture, it seems to be more of a split mind, where one’s affinity or affiliation has two masters. But in the secular world, the emphasis is more on wavering (an inability to make up one’s mind) or a half-hearted attempt at something. Am I guilty of not just one, but both?

Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other. [James 4:8, The Voice]

I am really growing to love the new Voice translation which has both an artistic element and a creative way of expressive the nuances of a passage. For this reason, my heart was struck heavily by this verse in James.

My own heart, carrying within it [still], those secrets, is fueling the split of my mind so that my love and dedication to God is being watered down by my selfish wants and wannabe.

Coming from the Greek word, dipsuchos, it can also mean “double-souled.” And suddenly the reality of this state clicks in. I invited the Christ Spirit to dwell within but I confess, I still want things to go my way. I have relegated the Spirit to a friendly helper, and standby magician, a comforter in times of stress, but have I surrendered the way to Spirit?

And here comes the wavering: surely, it’s time to really let go. Decide. Give God full rein, not half. Give Spirit freedom to reveal the intended me. This me would not be so quick to judge or lie or inflate my own importance. This me would not crave esteem and distinction. For all that would come from the soul of Spirit, the breath of God.

Verse 10 (also in the Voice) says, “Lay yourself bare, facedown to the ground, in humility before the Lord; and He will lift your head . . . ” More traditional translations say, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Not lifted to fame, but lifted in newness of a life, a singleness of purpose, a singleness of mind, a singleness of soul.

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“Can you keep a secret?” Ooooh, we think, inside information! We imagine it’s a compliment to be told a secret. But a secret can be a millstone around the neck, waiting to drown us.

Romans 2:16a
This [judgment] will take place on the day when God will judge men’s [and women’s] secrets through Jesus Christ . . .

We mistakenly believe we can keep secrets well hidden; if we never voice them or think about them, they will never see the light of day.

But secrets are more like mold.

Mold flourishes in dark, damp, organic places. Once established, mold is difficult to remove. Either the object must be thrown away or some kind of astringent, anti-bacterial solution is used to clean it (if it is caught in time). Mold damages its host. Mold doesn’t just cover an object, it interacts and transforms it.

And secrets will do the same.

A secret’s greatest power lies in its hidden nature. It will grow a life of its own, morphing into something bigger and more complicated and sometimes, even sinister. It changes us from the inside out.

Why do I keep secrets about myself? It’s simple, really. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the reaction of others. I’m afraid the truth will be too much for others to bear. I’m afraid of the exposure. I’m afraid of the ramifications.

Keeping a secret about myself is more like a lie than anything else. In order to keep truth hidden, I cover myself with plastic, with false overlays. And yet, that secret truth just breeds more and more lies.

The safest place for a secret is in the hands of Christ. Being a wise counselor, Christ can bring light and healing to any festering growth. If I bring my secret to God willingly, the exposure is done with the gentle hand of mercy. If I wait, the secret will be laid bare eventually anyway. It may not be until the worst hour, or the last hour, but it will be uncovered.

In Greek, confess is homologeō which means “to say the same thing.” In other words, acknowledging or professing what is already known. Confession is coming to the truth of ourselves. Giving up our secrets to Christ is the beginning of holiness and wholeness. Amen.

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