Have you ever done something wrong and then tried to cover it up? Of course you have. You’re human. There’s something inside of us that think if we cover it up, no one will know and it will go away. I’ve been trying it since I was a kid. In fact, my friends and I once started a fire when we were young. When it started smoking a lot, we tried to cover it up…with dried up pine needles. The fire roared even bigger. Instead of asking an adult for help, we went to my friend’s brother who was only two years older. By the time he realized he couldn’t put it out either, a neighbor saw the blaze and called the fire department who came and prevented a huge forest fire. By then, there was still significant damage we could have avoided had we confessed sooner.
I’ve found that people are more willing to forgive your shortcomings when you’re open and honest about them. But there’s this voice in our heads that creates doubts and insecurities in us. It tells us, “If they knew this about you, they would never talk to you.” When we listen to that voice, we choose to cover up our sins, failures and shortcomings which compounds the problem. We know it doesn’t work, but we try anyway thinking we might get away with it this time. The temptation to cover things up is such a challenge that it’s often more tempting than the temptation to sin. The problem is that sin covered up is unconfessed sin.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “If you cover up your sin you’ll never do well. But if you confess your sins and forsake them, you will be kissed by mercy” (TPT). We confess our sins to God for forgiveness. We confess them to others for healing. We need to get better at showing people mercy for their confessed sins. That’s the only way to break this cycle of covering up sins. We all sin, and we all need mercy and grace from each other. Jesus said it was the merciful who will obtain mercy. Let mercy start with you today.
Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash
How long has it been since you looked at the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5? To me, they’re a measuring stick of where I am in my growth. I have to ask myself, “Is my life producing these fruits?” Paul told us that a life controlled by God’s Spirit would produce those fruits. If I’m not producing them, then I’m not being controlled by God. In that same chapter, he also described the fruits of the flesh. These describe what a life that is not controlled by the Spirit looks like. It’s important to look in the mirror often to see what your spiritual life looks like.
Each morning as I get ready for the day, I stop and look in the mirror to fix my hair and to make sure I look presentable before going out in public. The same thing should happen for us as believers. We should look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word to see what we look like. If we don’t like what we see, we need to make adjustments just like we would to our physical appearance. If you had bags under your eyes you could either cover them with make up (this doesn’t solve the problem) or get more rest.
Too many times when we look in our spiritual mirror and see something that doesn’t look right in our lives, we try to cover it up. We want to appear to others as having it together when really the problem is one of the heart. David tried to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. He didn’t want others to know he had committed adultery, so he brought her husband home from the war. When he wouldn’t sleep with his wife, David sent him back to be killed so he could marry her and make it look like they got pregnant on their wedding night. He went to a lot of trouble trying to cover up the physical actions of a spiritual problem.
David had quit being led by the Spirit and was being led by his fleshly desires. He reaped the fruit of that choice. Since he wouldn’t look I hope a spiritual mirror, the prophet of God came and held it up. When he did, David recognized the spiritual problem. Instead of continuing to try to cover it, he dealt with the spiritual problem. In Psalm 51:10 he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. (NLT)” He realized he needed s change of heart to change his ways.
We are not so different from David. We have fruit we are not proud of and we try to cover it up. You may not have a prophet come knock on your door to call you out like he did, but the problem still has to be dealt with. If you look at the fruit in your life and know you need to change, don’t try to cover the problem up. Deal with it at the source. Pray like David did that God would give you a clean heart, that He would put a right spirit in you and that you would live a life that is led by His Spirit. When you do that, you will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.