The Secret Things

Babies love the little game called peek-a-boo. At least that’s what it’s called where I live. The game is simple. An adult hides their face. They could hold up a blanket, duck behind a wall, or some other object that the baby can’t see through. The game is talking to the baby while hidden and suddenly revealing your face. Laughs and giggles generally follow. Peek-a-boo is a developmental game. At this stage of development, the baby assumes that what is not visible is absent. Eventually, they learn to knock down the blanket on their own to reveal the face of their playmate. We often play our own version of peek-a-boo with God.

Three times in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus used the phrase, “your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” The contexts of this phrase are what we give, when we pray, and when we fast. Jesus’ point is to avoid drawing attention to ourselves in these things and humility. Jesus also said, “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.” (Mark 4:22, NASB95) God sees our secrets.

This may be good or bad news. There are many who serve and love Jesus in unnoticed ways. They quietly move mountains and change lives in ways no one sees but God. Sometimes they don’t even know themselves the good they are doing. But God does see and will reward in due time.

God also sees our hidden thoughts, attitudes, and sins. Those secret things which we know should be kept in the dark. Adam couldn’t fool God with a few fig leaves (Genesis 3); neither can we fool Him through our silence and hiding. God sees our secrets. But like a little baby playing peek-a-boo, we think we’re hiding things from God.

Walking with Jesus means walking with integrity. It means watching our hidden thoughts so they don’t become two-faced. You can be sure that the thing we say to ourselves that we shouldn’t or wouldn’t say to others will eventually pop out.

I had a co-worker once who had unflattering nicknames for some of our customers. Names that would surely create anger and end the business relationship if known. He’d use them frequently behind closed doors in our offices. They made me uncomfortable, and I did advise him that they could inadvertently pop out someday. Something he scoffed at. And then, one day, it did pop out to one customer. The unflattering nickname slipped from his lips in the heat of the moment. Soon thereafter, they became former customers.

God sees what we do in secret. That which is good will one day be rewarded. That which is bad will one day come to light. Either the light of repentance and forgiveness in Christ or the light of embarrassment and shame. The encouragement today is to know that God does see your secret service. Be blessed in that knowledge. The challenge is to ask God to show us the secret thoughts, attitudes, and sins we are trying to hide from Him and a willingness to confront them in the love and grace of Christ. 

Dale Heinold
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