How we love to hide! It’s been that way ever since the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:8-10)
Wounds create shame. Shame leads to hiding. We hide whether the wounds we receive are caused by things others do to us, or things we do to ourselves. Is it possible to come out of hiding?
You don’t want to be known as the person who was sexually abused, or who struggles with pornography, or who is addicted to pain pills, or who can hardly cope with depression, or whose marriage is falling apart, or who gets a panic attack at random times, or who lost everything financially through irresponsible decisions, or who had an abortion.
Playing the victim card can even be a way of hiding. Exploiting victimhood can be a way to keep the conversation away from the true impact to your soul of what happened to you, and your own behaviors that now perpetuate the trauma.
We admire people who tell their story, who are authentic enough to be real and share their brokenness. It often makes us feel closer to them, and provides a measure of hope that we too might make progress. We appreciate stories in the Bible of how God used people who had messed up. David writes a Psalm about his sin (Psalm 51). Paul is not shy about his history of persecuting followers of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:9)
So why do we keep hiding? And more importantly, how can we come out of hiding?
These three critical steps will help you do just that.
He knows anyway. Your head knows that. Telling Jesus is not for the purpose of getting information to Him that He doesn’t already know; it’s for your own soul.
There’s a recent “thing” going around social media that is totally in line with the gospel;
- Religion says, “I messed up. My dad is going to kill me!”
- The gospel says, “I messed up. I need to call my Dad.”
The devil is a master at heaping on shame once you mess up or become wounded. (And we all become wounded!) That’s not Jesus. And it’s often difficult or impossible to determine where others’ “fault” ends and your “fault” begins. Someone exposed you to pornography, and now you’re hooked. You saw anger modeled by your parents, and now it’s the only response you can muster. Instead of wallowing in blame or guilt, what’s helpful is telling Jesus.
Religious hiding is perhaps the most dangerous. Pretending to ourselves, to others, and to God that everything’s OK prevents anything good from happening and keeps us stuck. We all have places where we are vulnerable, and those vulnerabilities will sabotage our future unless we continue making them available for Jesus to change.
See yourself coming to Jesus and feeling His kind but knowing eyes understanding you. If it helps, imagine Him being here on earth, just as you read about in the gospels. Intentionally lower the curtain you’ve been hiding behind, and tell Him everything.
Telling Jesus is intended to change you. When you tell Him, He then asks you, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)
Things change when you tell Jesus. Run after that change. Embrace it. Choose it. Regardless of the source of your wounds, whether caused by others or by your own choices, don’t stay there.
What does Jesus want to change in you? It may be fear, entitlement, pride, selfishness, greed, lust, apathy, anger, etc. Like a thirsty person going after water, go after the healing Jesus offers. It won’t be “zapped” on you; it’s something you need to choose to take into your being.
When you become more hungry for healing and change than you are concerned about hiding, transformation is there for you.
That applies to patterns learned from your family of origin, secret “sins” you have fallen into, behaviors you’ve developed in response to traumas, and everything else in your life that’s less than God wants for you.
Healing comes from telling someone. That’s how God designed human nature: “Confess your sins to one another, … that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
We don’t like that. We think we know better, and want God to heal us magically without the vulnerability of coming out from our hiding place and being real to another human. People have hurt us, and we’re certain they will hurt us more if they really knew us.
And yet we cannot fully experience the healing, transformation, change God designed unless we do this.
So, find somebody to tell. Find a Christian counselor or skilled pastor. Find a support group for those dealing with your issue. Or find a fellow godly human who has walked a little farther along the road you find yourself on. Choose thoughtfully and prayerfully, but find someone to tell.
And in today’s world, there are more possibilities than ever to do just that.
The Fully Alive Group, our online community, can be a place where you can do that.
Encouraging Online Community. Professional Christian Coaching. All Confidential.
Your Turn: Where are you hiding? What would it feel like to come out of hiding? What are you going to do next? Leave a comment below.
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- It’s human to hide. But only when you come out of hiding can healing, change, or lasting transformation happen. Here are three steps in doing that. Tweet that.
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