Ever notice how secrets take on a life of their own? It's a rare secret that lies quietly in the soul. Sometimes they begor even demandto be told. Other times, they become the hidden source of unbalanced behavior. Either way, it's possible for a secret to begin as a small thing but eventually impact every area of our life.
I had a secret like that. I did something stupidsomething I knew was wrong. I wandered into an online chat room and found myself flirting with a total stranger. My marriage was in a difficult season, and to be blunt, the attention felt really good. But sin, no matter how great it feels at first, is like a lesion that doesn't heal. It just keeps getting bigger and deeper until it's treated. I needed the Holy Spirit's conviction and God's healing mercy. I received both, but not before my secret turned me into a nervous wreck. I'd think, What if someone discovers what I've done? What would they think of me?
I know a lot of women in the same boat. Their secrets may not be exactly like mine, but the results look about the same. When we're grumpy, anxious, stressed, or hurting, it's possible the culprit is a harbored secret.
Sometimes the secrets we keep have to do with our mistakes. Other times, we harbor secrets about wounds we've suffered at the hands of others.
I spoke with a woman who admitted that during her eight-year marriage, she kept silent about her husband's violent outbursts, phone-sex habit, and numerous affairs. Her silence kept her trapped in a situation that led, ultimately, to her hospitalization. Today she's divorced, rebuilding her life, and breaking her silence for the first time to trusted friends and a Christian counselor.1