“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Daniel. Remember him: the guy who was chucked into a den with hungry lions? Do you know how he landed there? During the reign of Darius, the king was so impressed with Daniel, he “planned to set him over the whole kingdom”. This, naturally, incurred the jealousy of his rivals. They tried to find fault with him, but couldn’t. “They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” so they set up a trap for him and he found himself in a lion’s den (see Daniel 6:1-28). But God rescued him.
I have always thought: how wonderful it would be if even our enemies could search and find nothing wrong with us! And I was reminded of that in today’s passage when Jesus says (I paraphrase): “You know those things you do, that you think nobody will ever find out about. Well, one day every one of those things will be revealed.” Now, isn’t that a scary thought? That one day, when we stand before God, naked in every sense of the word, there won’t be any pretense, any denial, any justification. Everything will be revealed in all its transparency. How shameful that day will be to us.
Now, please think about this. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could stand before God, not just then, but now, and not feel shame because we are living a life that is blameless? And this would have the added advantage of giving us a sense of joy that comes when we aren’t living a life of sin. Besides, we can walk in this world with our heads held high knowing that we are walking in the ways of the truly righteous. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Now, I know some of us are leading messed up lives, but hey, you know what they say about turning over a new leaf? How about turning over a leaf today?
Today is a new day. Scripture tells us that we can expect a fresh outpouring of grace each day. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). That is such a beautiful message of hope for all of us. No matter how terrible our sins, we can count on the mercies of God. As for those among us who believe they are leading a good life, let this be our prayer to God: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24)
You also might want to try out another aid. I have personally found this very practical. Every time you are about to say something or do something, imagine it is being flashed on a screen for everyone to see. Ask yourself: would you still say it? Would you still do it? And if the answer is no, then perhaps we shouldn’t say or do what we were thinking of saying or doing? Yes? The reason this works is because I sometimes feel we aren’t so concerned about what God thinks of us as the world does! But he is the one we are going to stand before one day.
So remember, nothing is hidden.