Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 116; 147:12-20, Nahum 1:15-2:12, Revelation 12:7-17, Luke 11:53-12:12
The next time someone wonders what a first century messiah has to say to a twenty-first century audience, haul out this passage from Luke:
Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
We live in an age when secrets are practically extinct. Social media accounts get hacked. Classified information gets leaked. Omnipresent cameras record us without our knowledge or consent. And any of this information can be distributed around the globe with the click of a Send key. Yet many of us go about our business as though privacy still exists.
Ever heard of the New York Times Rule? In a nutshell it says: don’t say, do, or write anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper. Not everything we prefer to keep private is shameful, but the NYT Rule can be a good benchmark for decision-making. More than any time in history, we should understand how quickly a whisper becomes a scream. Barely a day goes by without some celebrity, politician, or hapless schmuck getting caught in a scandal of exposed secrets.
ll of us have moments we’d rather not see in a headline, but the key to not crashing against the rocks of scandal is simple: integrity. If it seems too obvious, consider the endless parade of people exposed for hypocrisy and corruption. Now multiple that by a large number to understand how many people haven’t been caught (yet). In the two thousand years since Christ told us secrets would be uncovered, we don’t seem to have taken that message to heart.
Be the person you want people to think you are. And if you can’t be that person, don’t pretend to be what you’re not. Better to be a flawed witness to Christ’s love and forgiveness than a Pharisee who “clean[s] the outside of the cup […], but inside [is] full of greed and wickedness.”
Comfort: Integrity protects you from all kinds of trouble.
Challenge: In the evenings, reflect on your day. Ask yourself which parts you wouldn’t want to have exposed to the world, and how you can change for the better.
Prayer: Lord, help me to walk in my integrity and to trust You without wavering. Amen.
Discussion: What damage have you seen secrets cause?
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