When the Hiding Stops


We've become experts at hiding our real lives. We hide our real lives behind a facade of filtered photos, cropped profile pictures, and answers that rarely speak the truth. In the words of Carrie of Portlandia, "people are just cropping out all the sadness." We tell people we are good when we are really falling apart. We tell people we don't have a problem, all the while trying to cover our tracks in order that people won't discover the addictive behaviors that we won't admit to ourselves. 

We hide behind a a happier, better version of ourselves that we want the world to see. 

And we're not the only ones that hide because of the things we don't want people to know about us.  Notice what happens after Adam and Eve fail in their obedience to God in Genesis 3:

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” - Genesis 3:8-10

Immediately following the shame that accompanied their sin, Adam and Even realize they are naked and know that they need to hide. They have this immediate sense that they cannot be seen is condition. Because what will God think if he saw them like this? What would he think if they saw them exposed for who they really were? 

Brene Brown, a researcher of shame and vulnerability, called shame "an epidemic in our culture." Hiding is the inevitable result of having our sin exposed; we don't want people to find us out. And God-forbid people realize that we don't have it all together. 

And so we do whatever it takes to make sure it gets covered up. We do whatever we can do make sure our kids don't hear the stories about our failures. We find ways to eliminate the evidence so our friends never learn about that part of our lives. We find ways to use trite sayings in order to avoid talking about the way we really feel; we'll hide behind telling people we are "blessed," when the honest answer is more of "what the hell is going on in my life?"

@@What would happen if stopped hiding?@@ 

What would happen if we came out and were honest about what we've been keeping a secret? What if - instead of creating a version of ourselves that is tidy and well-behaved - what if we let people see the real us? 

In Luther's commentary on Romans he suggested, "Christ wants our whole disposition to be so stripped down that we are... unafraid of being embarrassed for our faults and also do not delight in the glory and vain joys of our virtues."  

We don't need to be embarrassed of our faults and failures because Jesus loves you with all of your faults and failures. We don't need to cover up all our issues, because it's the issues that Christ died for. We do not to pretend we've got it all together, because Jesus didn't come for people who are put together. Jesus comes for the people who are a mess - broken, ashamed, and hurting. 

@@Grace meets you in the shadows and calls you out of hiding.@@ Grace meets you in your place of weakness and offers to you resurrection. 

Because of Jesus, we are free to come out of hiding.  Because of Jesus we are free to fail. Because of Jesus, we are free to get it wrong and to mess it up, because our sin doesn't define us.  When shame tries to hold us captive, Jesus sets us free by his death and resurrection.  When our worth is attached to the sins that we are ashamed of, Jesus covers of our shame with his own life.

One of my favorite authors, Tullian Tchividjian, wrote: 

Jesus came to liberate us from the weight of having to make it on our own, from the demand to measure up. He came to emancipate us from the burden to get it all right, from the obligation to fix ourselves, find ourselves, and free ourselves. Jesus came to release us from the slavish need to be right, rewarded, regarded, and respected. Because Jesus came to set the captives free, life does not have to be a tireless effort to establish ourselves, justify ourselves, and validate ourselves.

May we finally stop hiding and start being honest.

Jesus frees you from whatever you're hiding from. As we confess our sins, we agree with God and our honest with ourselves. And in our confession, Jesus liberates us from the burdens that crush us. And as we are honest about our shame and need for confession, we witness to the God who comes to save sinners like us. It's in the honesty that we witness to the power of the Gospel, we witness that Jesus didn't just come to save "those sinners," but he came to save the ones as screwed up as we are. 

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