Hiding Sin Helps Nothing

            This past week a horrible and shocking 1,356 page report was released by a Pennsylvania grand jury detailing decades of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. The report details over 1,000 children were abused by 300 different individuals. The most shocking thing about the report is the lengths that church officials went to so that these assaults would be kept quiet. It’s worth noting that many religious folks from many different groups over the years have thought that keeping things quiet is for the best. When it comes to these types of sins The law must be involved so that criminals can be punished and children can get help. The cover up got me thinking about what the Bible says about hiding sin so that’s what today’s article is about.

            Literally from the beginning people have been trying to hide their sins. Adam and Eve put on coverings ad hid when they knew God was coming. Each of them tried to pass blame for their sin on to others. In fact it can be said that many of the sinful things in this life are done in secret. If people thought crime was okay then they wouldn’t do it at night. Paul wrote, Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are  exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light” (Eph. 5:7-13).

            Who gets hurt if I try to cover up my sins? The truth is first and foremost I DO. I hurt myself when I try to hide secret sins. David wrote all about this in Psalm 32. He said that while he kept it in he was wasting away on the inside. He knew he was living a lie and it tore him up inside because he really did love God. He confessed his sins to God and God helped him to be free of his guilt. He could go back to a good relationship with God and to David, nothing was more refreshing.

            If I try to cover up my sins I am also hurting the whole congregation. Perhaps no clearer example of this exist than that of Achan. After God and Israel destroyed Jericho the Lord forbade them from taking any spoils. Achan took a few things that looked really nice and hid them in his tent. When the Israelites went to attack the next town they suffered a surprising defeat. Lives were literally lost because Achan hid his sin. Only because God exposed and dealt with the sin were the people spared. David’s coverup with his sin with Bathsheba hurt not only him and her, but Bathsheba’s husband, his newborn son, his children, and the entire nation. Contrary to what the world wants you to think, every sin affects others!

            Most of all, If you try to cover up your sin then it hurts God. When David covered up his sin with Bathsheba he made the statement, “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:4). He also recognized that he had hurt God’s reputation. He had given sinners reason to blaspheme. And he had hurt God’s cause. It was only when sin was confessed and dealt with that he could be effective in bringing others to God’s Kingdom. From all of this please understand sin needs to come into the light and be dealt with. It may hurt and it may harm our reputation but sin must not remain covered up. Someday all will be revealed.