In this world, every person, no matter how much of an open book they are or would like people to believe they are, have secrets they’re carrying around and probably never intend to share with anybody. Your pastor has secrets he’s dealing with, so does your prayer warrior, your spiritual father, your biological or adopted parents, your best friend and even your partner. I think it’s safe to say that one of the things common to all humanity is secrets. We guard them with our dear lives and a lot of us try as much as we can to take them to our graves. But why? Why do we hold on to them?
Obviously, not all secrets are bad. But I think naturally, we tend to easily speak about the good things that happen in our lives than we do the bad. When God does a huge miracle for us and even when he prompts us to not tell anyone just yet, that becomes a secret, right?
However, maybe it’s just me but, we tend to itch to tell somebody, anybody. In the Bible, Mark 1:40-45 specifically, Jesus healed a leper and told him to go show himself to the religious leaders and to not tell a soul on his way there. This dude could not keep it in for even a little while. In fact, the moment he left Jesus, he started broadcasting what had happened to him.
So, why don’t we do same for the bad stuff we keep?
For most of my adolescent life, I hid something about me from almost everyone I knew. I was going through really bad depression that was getting worse and worse as I grew. To put it simply, I hated myself. I hated my looks, felt lonely, was insecure about almost everything and had a lot of self-pity. It was so bad that, at a point, I doubted everybody’s love for me, including my mom’s, my sister’s and even God’s. Oh, and I tried to physically harm myself.
For close to 10 years, I lived like this and I don’t think anyone suspected. I was bubbly at school and with friends, I ministered at church and at school, I went through life as a normal teenager. Even worse, I kind of liked being depressed, I don’t know why. Because I was hiding this, I lied a lot; to my friends, to my family, to myself even. I used my imagination to make up for what I thought I lacked and lying became a huge thorn in my flesh after God had delivered me from this depression. I say delivered because, I never told anybody, never sought counselling. I just cried to God all the time to take me out of it. And gradually he did.
And then, I could boldly talk about it, like I’m doing now, as a testimony. But it took 10 years! Some people don’t survive that long! I strongly believe the devil has a hand in our keeping bad secrets. It gives him a hold on us, it gives him something to constantly haunt us about and accuse us of, and ultimately keeps us feeling too guilty to approach God. Also, I think that we value people’s perceptions of us way too much. We like them to think very highly of us even when we’re obviously way below standard. We fear being judged and looked down upon.
Finally, people have not proven themselves trustworthy enough for us to be comfortably vulnerable with and bare it all to them, confident that our secrets will be respectfully guarded.
A problem shared is a problem halved!