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Keep No Secrets, Tell No Lies

Psalm 10
1 Why, O Lord do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts of the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
he is haughty and your laws are far from him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, "Nothing will shake me;
I'll always be happy and never have trouble."
7 His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent,
watching in secret for his victims.
9 He lies in wait like a lion in cover;
he lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, "God has forgotten;
he covers his face and never sees."
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
"He won't call me to account"?
14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil man;
call him to account for his wickedness
that would not be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.
17 You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Jesus had personal trials none of us can begin to imagine. Jesus was tempted beyond anything we could ever know. Jesus was so distraught in his final hours that He sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was flogged to nearly the point of death. He was publicly crucified. All of this hell on earth is public knowledge. Think for a moment about the implications of having kept all this tragedy a secret. What would the world be like today if these horrible times in Jesus’ life had been kept from the world? These moments in Jesus’ life are the darkest moments in the history of the human race but these moments have not been kept a secret. Most of the human race does know about these events, although many do not accept them as fact. The truth about Jesus’ death and resurrection have not been kept secret, but instead have been made known. Exposing these facts, horrible as they are, has liberated millions of souls who are then able to fly into heaven to eternal life. To keep these facts hidden, horrible as they are, would have not liberated anyone. When we read, "the truth will set you free", what we read is the fact that this horrid truth about Jesus’ flogging and crucifixion has indeed set millions free.

John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

In your own life, the darkness has power over you if the deeds of darkness done to you remain in darkness. The darkness and evil of the world hates the light because when the light is turned on, the darkness disappears. We are not just talking about the physics of light and darkness. We are talking about good and evil. A criminal does not want the criminal deeds exposed not just because the criminal does not want to get caught, but also because the criminal does not want the weight of carrying the guilt. Whenever evil does a deed in darkness and the deed stays in darkness then the evil is permitted to keep on doing evil things because no one knows about the deed. This is simple logic but logic is not a friend of the darkness. Darkness despises logic.

If you have been required by any life circumstance to keep quiet about any kind of persecution, attack, or victimization from any source you must speak out to someone about this event. To tell yourself that God knows and that is all that matters is fine as far as it goes but you have not gone far enough. The trials of Jesus’ life should be a lesson for all of us. Jesus’ trials could have been made known only to God, but the darkness and evil that perpetrated these trials upon Jesus would have won a huge victory if no one had ever known what the evil did to our beloved Savior. Even if we have been the victim of an attack, or we have been persecuted, or we have been victimized, we must still realize a part of us put Jesus on the Cross. To speak out about the evil done to us, to speak out about the evil done to others, or speak out about what we might have done, is mandatory for our civilization to continue to exist and our personal lives to remain intact.

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." 27 Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" 28 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

To come forward and speak out about the private tortures of your life takes courage. Courage to speak out is required because one of the greatest weapons of the darkness is fear and anxiety. Organized crime has existed in the United States and around the world for a century because organized crime uses fear and anxiety as a tool to keep people silent. Satan uses fear and anxiety to keep you quiet so Satan can continue to kill, maim, hurt, and destroy. Indeed, if we all knew about all the darkness of the world then the world as we know it might crumble from the weight of the shock. However, out of the crumbled world we could rebuild a new and better world. In your life, you may falsely believe your immediate world may crumble if you tell the whole truth, but with God all things are possible. With God and Christ within you, then you can have the courage to expose the truth.

Keeping dark, evil, or bad secret things bottled up inside of you is of no value to you. Keeping secret what has been done to you when you know these same things have been or are now being done to others implicates you in the doing of these bad things. In the cases of domestic abuse or violence, the victims become the perpetrators. This is why it is so important for you to vent out what has or is being done to you. Nowhere in the Kingdom of God are you required, in any of His wisdom, to carry knowledge of secret evils or keep secret terrible events of which you are a victim. On the contrary, all the world’s major religions rejoice in the telling and the expressing of truth. If we take the greatest sweeping look at all the greatest teachings of our Judeo-Christian faith, these teachings show us that darkness must come to a place where darkness must be exposed to be defeated. These teachings show us we are the ones who must make the truth or light shine in the darkness. The darkness of evil and corruption will never expose itself unless by accident. We cannot win the war against the darkness by keeping secret the methods, purposes, or ways of the darkness. For us to have Christ alive and living within us, we must expose our personal darkness of sin to God. In the same way, we must expose the darkness, sin, and evil that has been done to us by others. The purveyors of darkness will get what they deserve, no matter who they are, what they have done, or what they are. Each of us must fully assess the world from our own shoes and look at the implications of darkness and evil. If you fully assess the effect of darkness and evil upon your own life then you will no doubt want darkness and evil put to a stop. You will also not want anyone else to experience what you have gone through. If you remain in darkness by keeping secret those things done to you, you guarantee that others will also be victims. Speaking out is not mandatory. You can keep silent. However, the price of silence is paid not only by you, but by the others who will be persecuted in the future.

People must be alerted to the dangers of the darkness and evil that lurk in our world. If we do not expose these things then these things will continue to plague us and do even more damage than they have already done.

John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Exposure of the secrets of the darkness within your life also has a direct healing result. Not only is the healing of benefit to you but also of benefit to every person you know and with whom you come in contact. By revealing the dark corners you get a chance to eradicate the creatures that live in those corners of your soul.

To keep things secret takes a toll upon you and upon your life. We were all created to live in the Light of Christ’ love, care, and compassion. When we carry a part of the darkness with us because of fear, anxiety, or intimidation we have separated ourselves from Christ’ healing Light and love. To be healed from the agonies and trials of persecution, victimization, or attack we must let others know and let Christ know we will not stand by any longer and help the darkness win by staying silent.

Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

We often get accustomed to not revealing the deeds of darkness so we learn to live with the darkness. As is mentioned elsewhere in this message, the victim so very often becomes like the perpetrator. In this process, we begin to tell ourselves it is OK to carry this load on our backs and begin to make excuses why we need to keep silent knowing all the while we have no excuse. The longer we carry the secret garbage the more the darkness consumes us. The powers of Satan and darkness know these things and they use them. You can pass judgement on those who spread the darkness but if you do not reveal it you keep them going just as surely as if you were one of them.

Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Every day of your life you build a legacy not only for those persons you leave behind when you die but a legacy you will take home and place before the throne of God. What we are really speaking about here is telling the truth. When we cut through all the excuses, the reasons, the rationales, the rationalizations, and the lies we tell ourselves, what we are speaking about here is telling the truth. You may have been a target or a victim and if you have been harassed or victimized then you need to tell the truth. Cockroaches do not like to be exposed and neither does evil and darkness. When you tell the truth, you may perceive that you will be under more pressure, more threats, more danger, and difficult times ahead. Unfortunately, you may be right about a more difficult future. However, coming forward and speaking the truth sets you right with the world and with God. In your life, it is bad enough that you have to battle the darkness by not telling or revealing the truth, but you must not put yourself in a position of battling God also. God is always on the side of the truth, no matter what the truth is or where it leads. Some of us want to believe God only wants a certain kind of truth to be published or made known but this belief is in error. From God’s perspective, telling the truth is at the top of the list. The first step in the Twelve Step process is "Be Honest" because all inner healing, all outer healing, all of our abilities to work our way through this life hinge upon our ability to be honest with ourselves, with our God, and with each other.

Matthew 26:39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper, He was honest with God. Jesus pleaded with God to take the cup of suffering and death away but it was God’s will that Jesus was to die for each of us. In those moments in the Garden, Jesus was honest, real, and human. Each of us must be honest, real, and human. To keep our lives enslaved because we cannot or will not tell the truth about being persecuted, attacked, or victimized in any way then reduces us to a level of being sub-human.

Matthew 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

In conclusion, let your own little light shine in the world. A little light in the vast darkness can shred the power of the darkness in an instant. Will the darkness make you pay a price for telling the truth…maybe. Will God reward you for telling the truth…definitely and beyond your wildest dreams.

May His peace, grace, and love be with you all the days of your life.

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018