Lord, I’m so glad my deeper secrets are known only to you.
There is the biblical fact that all our secrets will be revealed, finally, come that Great Day (see Ecclesiastes 12:14, for instance). But there’s an equally joyous fact on the opposite side of that coin: it is that God alone knows our secrets, and it’s God’s grace alone that does not condemn us for them, where people might if only they knew.
These, of course, are our grace-blessed secrets; the thoughts of confidentiality not appearing inherently as vice-like sin.
Holding Both Sides in Balance
Many believers, especially those of Roman Catholic faith, have held the view of purgatory for the secrets and misdeeds of life. There is not a view to oppose them other than to say that with God there is always balance, for Justice is balance. (This is proven over the longer term regarding basically anything observable.)
If we’re to be judged on our secrets, and indeed we will, we can also be assured that our grace-laid secrets are safe with God, unless we might choose to ‘blow our cover’ by the way we live life.
The secrets that God protects are those things we take God’s counsel on, and for it we’re blessed with the anointing of God’s grace. These secrets God knows full well we have the capacity for; we cannot reveal everything to all people in this life.
The Freedom to ‘Live’ the Secret
As mentioned above, many people feel condemned (or they condemn themselves) for having or holding secrets. They might feel guilty or ashamed for thinking or feeling certain things, never understanding that it’s often the enemy behind it.
God’s Spirit—via our consciences—only ever makes us feel guilty to the point of bringing us to repentance, which in this context is the desire to change, and the act of changing.
Many people feel trapped in patterns of sin, and for these, God’s grace does contend for us.
It’s when we can no longer do anything else that the enemy gets in there to make us feel guilty or ashamed for what we can no longer possibly do. It is madness to contend with things beyond us. For these we must know the acceptance of grace that can only come from God.
Beyond our secrets-of-vice-like-sin, which God wants us to address, our grace-blessed secrets are safe with God. Put another way, beyond the wholesome self-discipline of effort for the reconciling of our sin, God’s default position is the forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We have nothing to feel guilty for beyond which positive action can manage.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.