“In Christ…” No More Unhealthy Secrets!
Shadowy Secrets Swelling Within
“My grief all lies within; and these external manners of laments are merely shadows of the unseen grief that swells with silence in the tortured soul.” (William Shakespeare, Richard II, Act 4, Scene 1)
Ministering to a Swollen People
If there is a plight common to EveryMan, nevermore prevalent than in our rampantly privatized and secularized culture today, it’s secret-keeping. (Not the sort that’s meant to keep a confidence. But rather not sharing our inner-most life with anyone, least of whom ourselves.)
At the most fundamental level, secret-keeping (the polar opposite of using God-given words to freely, lovingly, truthfully express ourselves) is due to pride: Mankind’s inheritance of the fig leaf Adam used to cover his… shame or sin.
In my experience, the Christ-given antidote for this common malady of a fallen heart-spirit relationship WITHIN expressing itself WITHOUT is found in St. Peter’s first letter to first-century followers of Christ. This process to “lance the boil of unseen grief that swells with silence in the tortured soul” is to constantly and proactively share what each of us has inherited under the cross: a) the elimination of shame, and b) an adoption into a new family.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Ministering to another hurting secret-keeper requires we allow others to see how we have been set free by the cross (no shame, a whole new family)—in very practical, relevant, soul-bearing, humble, and yet bold ways. The silence must broken by healing words meaningful to both parties, right?
I believe one of God’s most important and strategic aims in allowing suffering to occur is to free secret-keepers of “the unseen grief that swells with silence in the tortured soul”.
“Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, as I awake this day, before I even step foot out of this bed, would you please remind me of my having NO SHAME, and being adopted into YOUR FAMILY! Help me always be secure in these promises and realities FIRST, and then prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks me to give the reason for the hope that You have given me in Christ Jesus. For, in fact, this is the only reason You have given me life TODAY!”