The person with secrets often feels like she has gotten away with something. That person may know that she has given in to a temptation and now remains undetected. When no one seems to know, you are basically carrying a secret.
“As long as no one knows, no one gets hurt.” At least this is thinking of some people. They get involved in a particular behavior they know is wrong but they believe they will remain undetected.
- This may be the person who has a separate bank account from his spouse. He uses it to buy what he wants to buy with their money and yet remain unaccountable.
- This may be the person who lies on his tax return but is convinced his misdeed will never be detected.
- This may be the person who has her eye on a co-worker and really believes that any illicit behavior will never be discovered.
The myth that many people live with is that the detection of sin is what really makes it a bad thing. However (according to this thinking) if no one ever finds out, who is going to get hurt?
The truth is that my sins, either detected or hidden, hurt the people in my life.
If I engage in behavior that is immoral, the people in my life are impacted whether my shoddy behavior is ever detected or not.
For example, consider what adultery does to a person. Many people rationalize, “As long as no one knows, what does it really matter? No one is being hurt by this.” Yet, consider the impact:
- I hurt my wife — Even if she never discovers what I’ve done, she is now married to a man who is keeping a huge secret from her.
- I hurt my children — They now have a daddy who can’t be completely honest and open with them.
- I hurt my friends — They have a friend who choose to not be open and transparent with them.
- I hurt my church — They have someone who must remain closed and distant for fear of revealing my true character.
- I hurt my relationship with God — I have sinned against God and am living out of my pride instead of my desperate need for him.
Years ago, our family was on vacation. We were sitting in a restaurant ready to eat dinner. Near the window, close to where we were sitting, was a couple. They were attractive, in their late 20s. As they began to talk, it became obvious they were in that city for some kind of business convention. Apparently, they had just arrived in the city on board flights originating from two separate cities. They began to talk and she said to him, “My marriage isn’t what I thought it was going to be. I’m glad to be away. She began to complain about her husband. We soon left. I had an uneasy feeling about the couple at the table.
I may be in my house, at work, or a thousand miles away from home on an airplane. No matter where I am, my behavior really does matter. It impacts my family, my friends, and my church. Most importantly, my behavior impacts God, who has called me to live in a way that reflects well on him.
I want to remember as I consider my behavior, my secrets really do matter.