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Burying stuff that might get resurrected

It was a case of “he said, she said” where everybody sided with him. She accused him of having an affair with her. He denied it. She took it to the church and they thought on balance he was more believable than she was. They agreed with his reasons for why she was lying. He was middle age and a …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

It was a case of “he said, she said” where everybody sided with him. She accused him of having an affair with her. He denied it. She took it to the church and they thought on balance he was more believable than she was. They agreed with his reasons for why she was lying.

He was middle age and a leader in the church. She was 26 and had worked for him. The situation was messy and disagreeable. Her reputation went down in flames while he Facebooked the masses.

As it turns out, he had a history of affairs and she had a trove of text messages and emails to back her version. As time passed, his secrets began to leak out. It reminded me of a pastor who applied to work with AIM back in our early years.
 
I did the usual background checks and the more I looked into it, the more sordid the accusations that I uncovered were. If you believed the people I talked to, he was a sex addict. And of course he denied it.
 
I figured “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and decided not to hire him. A few years later his secret past caught up with him and he died of AIDS,
 
Some resurrections are glorious events, but some are ghoulish.  We hope for our own resurrection, while we want to keep the skeletons in the closet under lock and key.
 
The great American pastime after football is to watch our politicians’ secrets come flying out of closets. We’re morbidly titillated by the exotic locations: Chappaquiddick, Argentina, the Monkey Business, a bathroom stall, the Oval Office.
 
I have a friend who says, “Truth and time go hand in hand.” He and I have been through a few fires together. After each of them, I want to know that justice is done. But he’s in no particular rush; he has a patient approach to justice.. He makes the point that if you’re patient, the truth will come out and you’ll be vindicated.
 
But what do you do when it’s you? You thought you buried something and then, horror of horrors, one day it comes tottering out of the grave looking for you? It’s the premise of many a good slasher film – your past sins coming back to haunt you.
 
On balance what people don’t know can hurt you. The enemy of our souls loves it when we have secrets – that becomes his stronghold. He can blackmail us and keep us from living free if we’ll just hang on to that secret. From that stronghold he can summon up fear and even paranoia.  
 
My counsel is to take his power away. Ask God if there is anything you’ve buried that you need to resurrect once and for all by sharing it with those who need to know. Why live in torment, or worse, deluded and lying to yourself. Apologize and move on; it’s much better to live as God intended – free.
 
“You, my brothers, were called to be free.”  Galatians 5:13
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Comments (4)

  • If the Body of Christ is functioning in the gentle balance of confession, forgiveness and restoration the presentation of sin becomes as natural as an ordered event of the day.

    But when one part of the crowd shields their own sin from others with heavy cloaks of righteousness even while pelting or patronizing the obvious offender it is not prudent to make that a place of “opening up” regarding an offense.

    If an individual is not part of a problem or will play a critical role in the solution they do not warrant the vulnerability. Their “need to know” is shallow.

    Scripture tells us that our sin will be “shouted from the house tops”. So we do well to keep short accounts. And we need to ask the Living God to infuse us with discernment to know when we are in the company of shadowy figures.

    We are also operating in wisdom when we know those times that eager ears to hear our confession sometimes mask a calculating plan to amplify pain and not absorb it. Pslams 1 has some good input on the scorning people.

    God has a sharp pencil and doesn’t miss a trick.

    And not all accounts are settled in this world. But we can be certain the check book will be balanced someday.

    One of the many things Catholics have right is the discipline and cadence of personal confession.

    I’m hard pressed to remember the last time I had one offered to me.

    Shalom.

  • Excellent blog, Seth! GLAD TO BE FREE!

    I do, however, want to ditto this comment: “He makes the point that if you’re patient, the truth will come out and you’ll be vindicated.” That is sooo true!

    Just thinkning back from TWO MONTHS ago, where God faithfully vindicated me from 11 yrs ago! So worth the wait…. didn’t even know it would happen but God never forgot my innocense!

  • I guess that is what He meant by; “Those that are free, are free indeed!! Confession, truth, pain, restoration, freedom… and carry a bit of it all your life to remind you of your dependency on Him!

  • This is a great reminder of how our flesh wants to hide and conceal but God wants to bring to the light! We think that it helps to conceal, but in fact it’s the confession that brings freedom! “If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness!” I John 1:9

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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