The Things We Hide
We aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 2 Corinthians 8:21
I was taught as a kid that God sees everything I do, and I can recall a brief time when this was a deterrent to my bad behavior. That fear soon evaporated though because it was just so intangible. There were simply no direct consequences from God for my sin. If he heard when I said a bad word, he didn’t really do anything immediate about it. I realized that I could do whatever I wanted when no one was watching. Other people of course, were a different matter. I quickly learned that I couldn’t swear in front of my mom, because that did incur immediate consequences. So, I developed this pattern of hiding my darkness. This has been a life problem for me, which manifested ultimately in my drug addiction.
Most of those who struggle with chemicals are familiar with this behavior. Ashamed of his drug use, the addict should stop doing the shameful thing, but he’s addicted and so, he simply tries to act sober. I see this all the time. The one addicted is under the influence, but he’s desperately trying to appear that he’s not, hoping to hide his self-destructive behavior from the world.
Though it may not involve drug addiction, most of us are familiar with this. We all have something we try to hide from others because we don’t want anyone to see who we truly are. Maybe it’s lust, resentment, jealously, anger, pride, racism, or greed. Whatever it is, we’re desperate to keep it hidden. It would be better if we gave the evil thing up, but that’s too painful, so, we just conceal it in darkness, living in fear of the light.
In today’s passage, Paul claimed that he tried to do what is honorable in both the sight of God and man. Like all of us, Paul had his struggles, but he desired to live in such a way that neither God nor man could find fault with his behavior, even when they knew everything about him.
What would it be like if others could see everything about me? If that’s a terrifying thought, then we’ve got two options. We can try to hide all of our garbage in the darkness, or, we can do whatever it takes to deal with it, not matter how painful, so we don’t live in constant fear of the light.