Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can You Keep a Secret? There Are Skeletons in the Closet

If your answer is yes, those who study genealogy may disagree with you. The discovery of hidden secrets is inevitable by those who dig deep into the past in their search of their "roots." As the facts of each generation's deeds and misdeeds are painstakingly uncovered, the "black sheep" from the past begin to bleat, and skeletons in closets begin to rattle. The acts of someone which at the time were thought to be well hidden are exposed and known by everyone.

Often the discoveries of even slight infractions add a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm to the search. Gossip in any form tends to enlarge our appetite for more information. The evilness of the deed, or any shame related to it is often covered over with jovial thoughts. "Everyone has a skeleton in their closet - somewhere."

Genealogy studies are not the only source of finding skeletons, however. Hidden facts are uncovered daily as the media blares the secret sins committed by anyone in whom the public has interest. No one is exempt; from the lowest drug pusher, to the person in the highest political office; their life is laid bare for inspection. Privacy seems only to exist so long as the person is able to stay ahead of the media's search-light for gossip.

The intrigue and humor somewhat fades, though, with the possibility of our own private facts being exposed. The closets are then tightly shut and the actions are done more secretly. "No one will ever know of my day-to-day 'little things' done in secret." "What they don't know want hurt them." And the skeletons continue to stack up as we foolishly think, "no one will...."

Even the hidden sins of others being revealed and shouted from the rooftops, so to speak, does not cause some people to stifle their own soon-to-be-discovered actions. Rather, it seemly gives them a reason only for more careful cover-up. It's as though they are blind to the fact that it could happen to them. No one will ever know they are so sure.... But will they?

In the Bible, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?...Do I not fill heaven and earth?" (Jeremiah 23:24). "For mine eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes" (Jeremiah 16:17).

It matters not if one's sin is done in secret... if it is done on an impulse - or if it is prompted by others. It matters not if it is well covered, or approved of by those in authority. It may be done on a dare - to impress someone - or perhaps even done out of ignorance. The fact remains; sin is sin.

How the sin is committed or what caused the sin is not important. Not even if it is never discovered here on earth. What is important, is that God sees the sin now, and it will be exposed for all to see on the day of Judgment - unless we repent and it has been cleansed by the Blood of Christ.

Eve was prompted and prodded until she decided to believe the lies of Satan. (Genesis 3). Her sin of disobedience was exposed immediately and has since affected all mankind.

Achan could not resist the wealth of the defeated enemy. He thought by burying the items he took, that his disobedience to God would not be discovered. It not only was exposed, but as a result he and many others died (Joshua 7).

Judas had the approval of the authorities and even received payment for his sinful act. The money did not change his guilt that brought him to suicide (Mark 14).

The terrible acts of Joseph's brothers were not discovered for years. (Genesis 42) Could they have even imagined the strange happenings that would eventually bring about the uncovering of their evil deeds? They felt the truth would never be known, as they told their father lies about the death of Joseph. Each one was equally guilty of putting Joseph in the pit and selling him to the Ismeelites and each was certain that the others would keep the lie from being revealed.

As the years passed, surely their security grew. They were confident they were forever rid of their brother, Joseph. Their sin had been hidden... or had it? At the time of their dreadful act, they could not know that years later they would stand as beggars - as criminals and would-be killers before Joseph, now the powerful overseer of Egypt (Genesis 41:44). The brother they had so hated, stood as their judge over life and death matters.

You might say, "They deserved to be punished - but I do not commit such acts of theft, violence, or murder. I exercise self-control and keep any unacceptable feelings locked inside myself. If my life was exposed and the facts written, the public would not even be interested.

The accounts of deaths are seldom boring, however. They are always of interest. If we have hidden sin, great or small - the skeletons are rattling, waiting to be exposed. When they are uncovered - death occurs. Something of value dies; a confidence, a Christian witness - or a soul. "...the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4).

Maybe the skeleton in your closet are thought to be quite insignificant in relation to theft, violence or murder. Perhaps, they are more easily covered and kept secret. After all, no genealogy study would ever disclose hidden bitterness, resentment, selfishness, lust, or hatred -- or would it?

It has been said, "It is as supreme a folly to talk of a little sin, as it would be to talk of a small Decalogue that forbids it, or a diminutive God that hates it, or a shallow hell that will punish it."

"Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).

Skeletons in a closet may stay hidden for years. Yet, one day everyone of us will face the deeds that we have done (Romans 14:22). Have you checked lately? The skeletons in your closet may be starting to rattle! © copyright 2008 Arleita Harmon,


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