I was talking with a friend earlier this morning about the dangers of that dark side, those hidden areas of our lives we want no one to know about. Whether it's a long history of repeated failures or a recent decision that has caused you to stumble, all of us will face the challenge of sin in our life. Let me share just a few of the dangers of hidden sin...
....hidden sin seldom stays hidden. It will eventually come out into the light and you (and everyone it effects) will have to deal with the consequences.
...hidden sin is like hidden disease--it makes no difference who knows about it, it still wreaks havoc on the one who carries it. Silently, without fanfare, it ruins your relationship with God and with others. It eats at you whether you acknowledge it or not.
...the longer that sin stays hidden in the human heart, the harder it is to root it out. Poor choices, broken relationships, addictions or dangerous behaviors can grow roots that are hard to dig out if we leave sin "unattended."
...Satan always makes us more afraid of revealing the sin than we should be. It is one of his favorite tactics as the "father of all lies." He makes us fear the things that most can help us. Exposed sin loses its lethal nature and becomes easier to deal with in the company of other Christ followers where there is accountability and encouragement.
Examine yourself. What lies on the "dark side" of your character? What areas of compromise or sin have you explained away or ignored or excused? Is there sin that you have justified as being no big deal? Healing begins with confession--bringing the sin out into the light. Find a brother or sister in Christ or talk with your spouse. Find someone you can trust who will speak to you honestly and lovingly.
The next step is repentance. This is the conscience decision to take your life in a direction 180 degrees away from the sinful past. Confession without repentance is anemic. It carries no power. Confession with repentance is the foundation of the gospel...it is life-changing.
Finally, there is accountability. The company of believers is the safest place for every sinner. There we find the strength to come clean and the help to be restored when we fail.
Remember it's much easier to deal with sin now than to let it spin your life out of control.