I have a secret to tell you. But I don’t want you to tell anyone else, okay? Let’s just keep this between me and you.
I feel like a “typical Christian” in many ways lately. Wanna know why? I’ve been playing the hiding game. I promised myself I’d never do that, yet I’ve been doing it anyway.
What am I talking about? The feeling that I need to hide my “sins” so that others don’t think poorly of me. The thought that being open about them will result in negative effects on my life. Like less churches asking me to speak for them, for example. Or not being allowed to complete seminary. Or losing a book deal. Or… whatever.
The thing is, some of my “sins” are repetitive. Because of that, I feel that I should be past them by now. I should have “grown up” spiritually. After all, it’s been almost a year, right? That must be 20 in Christian years. I should be an “adult”.
I remember as a child growing up in church I’d hear the beloved Saints ripping other Saints to shreds for their sins. It made me angry inside. Usually angry at those who were being ripped to shreds, to be honest. “How could they be such sinners?” I’d think. I was young and impressionable and it seemed to me that if the people who were doing the talking felt that those being talked about needed to change then, by God, they needed to change!
As I became a teenager I looked at the situation in a different light, and the feelings of anger I harbored were now directed towards the “talkers”. Two words described my opinion of those who were ripping down their fellow Christians: hypocritical gossips.
But their words were painful.
And it’s because of experiences like that, which I know all of you can relate to, that I’m often afraid to reach out for help when I fail now. I look back through this blog and am proud that I used to rip myself open and talk about whatever my issues happened to be. But I’ve noticed a trend toward secrecy. I have more to lose now.
I didn’t tell any of my accountability partners that I was drinking a lot.
I didn’t tell any of my accountability partners that I was still raising hell on the same adult internet message boards I used to frequently post on when I was a porn producer.
I should have gone to them, but I didn’t. I was afraid. At what point does it sound like whining to admit that you’re still stuck in the same cycle? At what point do they simply kick your ass and tell you to just “get over it already”?!?
When my issues were finally revealed, they were gracious. And I was amazed at how much the exposure of said issues (“issues” being more PC than the word “sins”) brought relief. And help. With accountability partners on my side, it’s been easy to keep away from the alcohol. It’s been easy to stay off the discussion forums.
Perhaps there’s something to that Biblical idea of “confessing our sins to each other” after all.