I’m an extrovert, which is helpful for a blogger. I have very few secrets because it’s just too hard to keep them. How do you remember who knows what about you? That’s exhausting! What are we all looking for in life but to be known? The thing that people say when they fall in love is: He/She “gets” me. We’re all hoping someone will understand us and think we’re cool. I don’t think it’s just me.
But there’s more to it than that. One of the Scriptures I’ve based my life on is in I John 1. In the New King James, the section heading is “Fellowship with Him and One Another.” I won’t quote it all here, but basically it says that Christians should walk in the light – confessing our sins to one another. The opposite of walking in the light is hiding away in the darkness. When we bring things into the light, we are confessing our sins to one another. Am I promoting the Catholic version of “The Confessional”? Not really. I’m promoting friendship. I’m promoting real relationships with others who know us in and out.
When we confess our sins to one another, they no longer have the same power over us. The shame is removed, the darkness is exposed, and others who love us are able to pray for us. Those who love us are able to support us, to not expose us to things that might weaken us, and stand beside us when we fall.
There’s a great power in knowing we’re not alone.
There’s wisdom in keeping your precious things private. As extroverted as I am, you aren’t likely to read specific details about old boyfriends or my hurt over the loved one who constantly breaks my heart here in my blog… But I have some wonderful, close, trustworthy friends who truly know me.
I think many people in my generation understand this way of thinking and relate to it. I’ve learned that many who are older have a harder time with it. They were taught that appearances must be kept up and that there are certain things that are not to be discussed. There’s an element of truth in their perspective. Appearances can be important. We want to avoid the appearance of evil. And some things should not be discussed openly, or at least not with strangers. So there is probably a healthy balance between the two extremes.
But the younger generation gets frustrated with the focus on appearances to the detriment of the health of a family or an individual when secrets must be kept to protect someone’s repetitively bad behavior. We are tired of the lies and misrepresentations. We are tired of being asked to cover for those who want to appear one way to the outside world but are completely different behind closed doors. We are tired of blatant hypocrisy. We’ve experienced the hurt it can cause and we don’t want to pass that hurt on to others.
So you can imagine my surprise a while back when someone told me that he doesn’t talk about the deep things in his heart because Satan will hear him. And if Satan hears his weaknesses and fears, then Satan has power over him to attack him in the weak places.
Huh? (Picture me shaking my head in confusion…) I had a very difficult time digesting this information.
This Christian is afraid of Satan? What happened to “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world?” (I John 4:4) Christians don’t have to walk around afraid of Satan!
This fear was very real and has paralyzed the man for many years. As I thought about it later I realized, he’s keeping secrets from Satan! And those secrets are eating his soul alive. He is isolated from people, afraid to make friends, and afraid that what he reveals about himself will be used against him by the devil. (More confused head shaking…)
All I could think was – what a sad way to live.
I assume that about one in every three new friends I invest in will really turn into a good, close, trustworthy friend. I expect new people I meet to fail me or even to betray me. It doesn’t make it easier when those things happen, but it doesn’t shock my system so much either. I’m better able to take it in stride and focus on the friends I do have. But I refuse to give Satan that much power over me. Let him hear me confess my sins! And let him be defeated because those sins no longer hold the same power over me as they did when they were locked away inside walls of guilt and shame. I can’t think of a better way to frustrate Satan’s plans for my life than to confess my sins and make Satan so irrelevant and powerless over me that I have nothing to fear.