It’s easy to subdue the enemy on the outside, ...but what about the one within?
It’s easy to hide a life of “what if’s,” secret sins, regrets, and brokenness behind a forced smile and perfect church attendance. It’s easy to hide the side of ourselves we don’t want anyone to see—but does it ever really go away? Will we always have to run from our secrets? Feel ashamed? Guilt? Self-hatred?
Secret sins feel safe. Hidden. Secret. Locked away. We greet them in places like our bedrooms, our bathrooms, and on our computers, and we leave them there when we don’t want to carry them into our daily routines. In a sense, they seem to be detached from the rest of our lives. If schools taught a class on Sin Ed, secret sins might be labeled as the “safe” sins. In other words, many people think there won’t be any consequences.
But is there anything SAFE about a secret sin?
As I think about secret sins, a recent news story comes to mind. It’s a story about a Christian boy who fell for the “safe sin” lie. He struggled with secret sins as he grew up, constantly keeping secrets, running from his past, and lying to the people closest to him. During this time the boy’s family became a public icon. He began to take new career opportunities in government and started a family of his own—all the while proclaiming God with his lips, and sinning against God in private. Josh Duggar’s secret sins were not a secret for much longer. Soon the whole world knew about his “secret sins,” and besides already costing him his career, they nearly cost him everything else. What was supposed to be safe and secret ended up being very public and very costly.
So how can we live a life that's shame-free? How can we win the battle against secret sins once and for all?
1. Nothing is Secret
We live in a generation that believes unless people know about it and are talking about it, it didn’t happen. It doesn’t count. We feel that as long as people don’t know what we’re struggling with behind the scenes, those struggles don’t hold as much gravity in God’s eyes.
That’s a lie.
Whether people know about our struggle with a certain sin or not, God knows exactly where we’re at and what we’re going through. No sin is hidden from God. It breaks His heart to see His children moving down a path towards destruction; and the simple fact is that’s where all secret sins lead.
“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
So if we really want to overcome secret sins, we need to have a healthy perspective on why it’s wrong. Secret sins aren’t dangerous because our friends might judge us or people might find out–they’re dangerous because sinning is a direct attack on God and His plan for our lives.
2. Setting Up For Success
Have you ever been on a diet?
Well, when I’m on a diet the last place I want to eat at is our local Chinese Buffet. Why? Because I love Chinese food, and if I eat there I know I’ll break my diet! My plate won’t look healthy and green, it’s going to be loaded up with rice and noodles and sweet n’ sour chicken. When I’m on a diet I try to set myself up for success. I like to think through what I’ll order before I get there, that way when I see the chicken fingers and Ranch dressing on the menu I already know I’m ordering a salad.
So why don’t we set ourselves up for success in overcoming sin?
Accountability is a great way of accomplishing this, but we can even take it a step further. If we know that checking our social media before bed makes us feel insecure, or binge eating makes us guilt ourselves, or too much time on the internet puts us in a place of temptation, why don’t we change those habits? The Bible says that we are supposed to be like watchmen, and watchmen sound an alert before the enemy is at their door!
If you were on a diet and you went to the Krispy Kreme shop every day… how long would it take for you to eat a donut?
It probably wouldn’t take you very long, unless you are somehow immune to the deliciousness of a warm Krispy Kreme. So is your problem that you need more self-discipline? Should you just try harder tomorrow when you go to the Krispy Kreme shop? Maybe if you get really mad at yourself for eating the donut, then you’ll stick to your diet? Probably not, because the problem is the position you are putting yourself in. Are you putting yourself in a position to overcome sin?
3. By Grace
The best news is that God’s grace is sufficient for us to overcome any sin or temptation. We don’t have to do the same things we’ve always done; we are a new creation in Christ, free to choose a new path for our life. Sometimes we have to take some advice from Disney’s Frozen and just LET IT GO! There is NO condemnation in Christ, and nothing we’ve done in our past can define our future.
“Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)
Whenever we are struggling with addictions, temptations, self-hatred, depression, fear, or loneliness, God’s grace is enough to set us free. We have the ability to overcome secret sins and live a life that’s guilt-free. God knows where you’re at and what you’re going through, and He wants to help you out of your situation! You only have to let Him!
What do YOU think the best way to deal with secret sins is?
For more advice on dealing with secret addictions check out the Fall Edition of Pure Design Magazine for FREE!
Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and checking items off of her bucket list.