Although most of us know we are as sick as our secrets, many of us still keep secrets. I can't tell you the hundreds and hundreds of people who have told me, "You're the first person I have ever told this to!" Although I think it's great that they have finally decided to break open, I also feel sad that they have waited so long.
I know that little seed of a secret brings forth a whole tree of shame and/or guilt. You carry this heavy weight in your soul that keeps you unable to get control of your life. You see in my career as a counselor I have seen a direct connection between secrecy and self-destructive behavior.
Conversely, I have also seen the power of letting go of the secrets and bringing them into the light, not just to God but to another person. Remember earlier we talked about the difference between confessing to God (I John 1:9) and confessing to another person (James 5:16). When we confess to God, we can be forgiven, but when we confess to others, we can be healed.
Now the shame that we experienced is often tied to specific events. So what you want to do is be open about those secrets you have. If you are honest about the whole enchilada of secrets, you can heal. Some people like to do one secret at a time. This can take years or decades. The better way to do this disclosure is to share all of your secrets at one time.
I remember early in my Christian walk receiving information about being totally honest with another person about everything. I thought about it, and like most Christians who are asked to be totally honest, put it off indefinitely. "After all, I was forgiven, right?"
It's true. I was forgiven and Jesus loved me but time and time again, the Holy Spirit would bring this principle of sharing the whole enchilada of my past with another person. So eventually, for me it became a point of obedience.
I honestly didn't understand the value of telling the whole enchilada of my exact sins to another person but I just knew I had to do it. Once I knew with whom I was to share all my secrets, I wrote down all the garbage I had inside. I made a list of what I'd done and to whom up to that point in my life. It wasn't fun at all.
Then I got together with the person with whom I was going to share my whole enchilada of sin. I went through it, detail by detail. He listened, forgave me, and I felt obedient. And just a couple of minutes down the street from where we were, I felt the cleansing presence of the Holy Spirit.
It was like lightening hitting my body. I was free, totally free. All of the "If you knew me, you wouldn't love me" was powerfully removed. I was washed. Soon after, I got to a football field and danced in the daylight, thanking God for my healing and the sense of freedom over my past.
Ever since, I have felt that free to shamelessly worship God; to look others in the eye and feel totally seen by them. I have done few things in my healing with greater lifelong impact than sharing the whole enchilada. Letting loose of all my secrets was definitely a milestone in my getting control over what had control over me. I can tell you where I was sitting, with whom, and even about what time it was, and that was many decades ago.
If the Holy Spirit prompts you to share the whole enchilada as part of your getting control over what is controlling you, do it as soon as possible. Shame from one secret can keep a soul stuck in self-destructive behaviors. You are worth the freedom to get control over what is controlling you. I don't believe God would be using me as much today as He has had I not shared the whole enchilada.
I know you might be having all kinds of feelings about now. Letting loose of your secrets can be the biggest step in this process. It's the step from pride and self-protection to humility and vulnerability when you finally consider that this might be a major key in your healing. Don't just think or feel about whether to do it or not; ask God. That's right; just ask God about the issues we covered in letting loose of "all" your secrets. Ask what you are to do and with whom. He will answer, and when He does, you will have the confidence to do what He says because He knows what you need.
Why does disclosure work? The Scripture states that if we bring something to the light, it becomes light (Eph. 5:13). That is so very true, and you also will feel much better as well.
If you look at all four Gospel accounts and read about Jesus appearing to people after his death and resurrection, you will see something missing. Jesus met the two on the road to Damascus, Mary Magdalene, the 10 disciples, then the 11 (Thomas) and was with 500 people.
Now, I often speak to crowds of 500 or more at my conferences. When I ask them if we were doing a healing service right now, and you knew you would be healed, how many of you would want something healed in your body? Without exception, 50-70 seventy percent of the people raise their hands. These crowds I am talking to are post-medicine era.
Jesus most likely had an opportunity to heal; yet there is no record of Him healing anyone after His resurrection. Then turn the pages to the next book after the gospels into the book of Acts.
In the book of Acts, we see the apostles healing people all over the place. You see, the healing power of Jesus is in the body of Christ (you and I) not the head.
So many Christians go to Jesus the head, who offers forgiveness, for healing. To be healed, we must go to the body of Christ. That's right, so the next time you are in church, look around. In those earthen vessels is the power of God to help you heal from whatever is controlling you.
I know you might have had hoped for a better way, but this is God's way, not ours. I often have people face each other in a conference and look at each other as the path to healing. It's an amazing moment as hearts really see the power of letting secrets go as a path to getting control over what is controlling them.
So if you have been guilty of going to the head for what only the body can provide, there is hope. Start going to the place where the healing is: your Christian brothers and sisters.
As you consistently disclose and let your secrets go, you can expect healing to begin. You are now going to the right place for the right thing. I know so many people who got mad at God for years because they thought He wasn't listening to their prayers. He was listening; you were just in the wrong place. Now go to the right place and thank God. He heard your prayers enough to place you in the right line of disclosure so that you can get control over what is controlling you.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Get A Grip. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on hisFacebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected].
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