The Power of Secrets
When my wife Stephanie and I began dating twenty years ago, the relationship moved at warp speed, driven by good looks (hers) and deep conversation (a team effort). We spent long hours together, trusting each other with our most treasured thought-gems; our dreams and successes, insecurities and failures.
The more we revealed our innermost secrets, the deeper the bond grew. Each deep-thought transfer carried a piece of heart and soul with it. Talk quickly turned to marriage. We plotted a course that would involve two job changes and a move to another state. And as big as all this was, it was happening entirely between just the two of us.
When friends would ask how things were going, we might give a simple answer, then move on to another subject. Meanwhile, Stephanie and I would glance at each other and smile. We knew big things were ahead.
When you have a deepening walk with someone you love, secrets take on a meaning that goes beyond shared knowledge. The longer you savor the secrets, the deeper the bond penetrates the heart and soul of a relationship.
If you’ve ever shared a close relationship – with a spouse, child, or a best friend – you know what I’m talking about. Now, here’s the kicker: God enjoys having secrets that are exclusive between the two of you.
The special bond that comes from creating, sharing, and keeping secrets is not reserved for human relationships. God wants in on the action, too.
The secret hike
When Jesus took Peter, James and John on a special hike up the mountain, he showed them some awesome scenes… and introduced them to Elijah and Moses, too! On the way back down the mountain Jesus instructed his friends not to share with the other disciples. He was sharing secrets with them.
Often, after teaching parables to the masses, Jesus had a follow-up session with his disciples in private to explain his teachings and to answer their questions. In the days leading up to his death, resurrection, and ascension, He shared mysterious secrets with the twelve – “as friends” (see John 15:15).
In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about the power of secrets. When we give, pray and fast in secret, God sees us. And he will reward us accordingly. The purpose of having secrets is not just to work through a check-list while keeping quiet.
Secrets help build relationships. Secrets are like super glue that bond hearts together.
Secret killers… social media
Our culture today doesn’t manage secrets well. It’s too easy to post our precious thoughts and activities to the world. The problem is we often exchange secrets with God for cheap attention from others. Just look at social media. Here are a few examples:
I just prayed 20 straight minutes for everyone I can think of. Wow, that felt great!
I just had two divine appointments back to back… what a day.
Woke up at 3:45 this morning to pray with someone before they headed to the hospital for surgery.
Would Mary have posted a selfie with her bulging belly saying, “My son will save your son’s soul?”
I don’t think so. Instead she pondered the secrets in her heart.
I’m not trying to crash social media. But I do think we can all benefit from a perspective shift in this area. The idea of building secrets with God is needed in today’s culture.
For starters, here are some questions for us to ponder together:
– Am I taking time to nurture secrets with God?
– Do my activities suggest I’m more interested in pleasing God or in pleasing others?
– What might I do differently to cultivate secrets with God?
This idea of secrets is a central theme in my upcoming book, Divine Applause. Meanwhile, I look forward to sharing more about it in future posts.
Photo obtained from Creative Commons at http://bit.ly/Ss9X9f