Break Secrecy 

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It’s a natural tendency for us to want to hide our sin.  Adam and Eve attempted to hide from God as soon as they sinned and we’re no different.  The devil plays on that tendency, using lies to persuade us to cover our sin with secrecy.  Some common lies the devil uses are: 

  • “They won’t understand”
  • “They’ll judge me”
  • “They can’t help me anyhow” or “I don’t need their help”
  • “They don’t know what it’s like to be me”
  • "They can't handle the truth - it will hurt them too deeply"

If we believe the lies, we will likely withdraw and disconnect from God and the people in our life.   The truth is that we cannot afford to be cut off from these potential help sources.  Our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).   When we allow ourselves to be isolated, we’re like the weak gazelle that gets separated from the rest of the herd.  Eventually it becomes lunch for the lions!

What’s so dangerous about keeping my struggle secret? 

Secrecy brings us under the devil’s influence:  Secrecy is deception and deception is the work of the devil who is the “Father of Lies” (John 8:44).  When we engage in deception, we open a door to the devil’s influence in our life.  God wants us to have truth in our “innermost being” (Psalm 51:6).  When we hide things in secrecy, we are giving lies a place in our innermost being. 

Secrecy opens the door to fear.  Sexual sin is powerful fuel for fear.  Typical fears faced by sex addicts include:

  • Fear of being found out

  • Fear of divorce

  • Fear of rejection

  • Fear of losing my job

  • Fear of losing my friends’ respect

  • Fear of having to give up my pet sin

Our natural tendency is to respond to the fear by trying to avoid these situations.  To do this, we’ll likely dive deeper into secrecy (and deeper into our sin habit)  to medicate the fear.     

Secrecy causes physical problems.  Living a double life will wear us down physically, emotionally and spiritually.  For example, in Psalm 32:3-5 David described what happened when he kept his sin secret.  David’s bones, energy and emotions were all damaged by his secrecy until he confessed his sin.  There are many other possible physical problems that could arise from staying in secrecy (stress, ulcers, etc.).   

Secrecy blocks blessing:  God will not bless us when we’re covering our sins.  Proverbs 28:13 confirms this:  “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” 

It is best for us to break secrecy!  Regardless of our situation, it is best to break secrecy by confiding with someone we know.   The obvious question is “Who should I tell?”  We encourage you to consider this question with much prayer.  Some people may be better able to handle the revelation of your sin than others.  Ideally, you’ll want to share your situation with a Christian who is walking closely with the Lord.  This is because they then can pray for you and give you Godly encouragement to continue through your walk to freedom.   

If you are married, you have another major decision to consider.  At some point, you will need to tell your spouse about your struggle.  Because sexual sin can be devastating to a marriage, we urge caution and prayerful preparation prior to sharing this with your spouse.   Don’t think that you’ll be able to get free and never have to tell your spouse about your former life.  Since you are one with her/him in body and spirit, you can’t afford to keep this truth from your spouse.  Withholding your secret struggle from them is tantamount to harboring lies in your inmost parts (Psalm 51:6).   Sharing the whole truth will be essential for the rebuilding of your intimacy and marriage sex life.  If you have previously told a trusted Christian friend about your situation, they can cover you in prayer when you sense it is God’s timing to tell your spouse.     

Places to break secrecy

ChurchLiving the Christian life is challenging.  God wants us to join with other believers as a team.  As Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, we all have different functions in the body of Christ.  We can't afford to be separated from each other because we need the support of the body to help us withstand the enemy.  If you are not connected to a good church, please visit our Church page.  

Accountability relationships:  Accountability relationships can be excellent vehicles to break secrecy and encourage one another in our walk with Jesus.   The term “accountability” refers to a loving relationship (non-sexual) between Christians that is meant to mutually encourage and strengthen each other in their pursuit of God.  These relationships can exist in a one-on-one or in a small group (3-5 persons) format (usually same-gender).  Ideally the persons involved should meet periodically throughout each month to stay in tune with how things are going with those in the group.  These are not performance-oriented relationships.  If a person falls to sin, the relationship should not be in jeopardy.  It is probable that all of us will fall in sin one time or another.  The accountability relationship provides a safety net to help get us back on track and keep walking with Jesus.  

There are several scriptures that support the concept of accountability relationships:  

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

  • Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

  • James 5:16: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another…”

  • Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

The story Jonathan and his armor bearer makes a great analogy for accountability groups (1 Samuel 14:6-14).  In the story, Jonathan and his armor bearer scaled a steep cliff and defeated a Philistine garrison of 20 men. They were united in purpose, faith in God and desire to serve God.  As Jonathan attacked the enemy, his armor bearer stayed with him, guarding his back.  As the Philistines fell before Jonathan, his armor-bearer killed them.  Applying this to accountability relationships, we all need armor bearers to help us fight the spiritual battles of life.   The walk with Jesus was not intended to be a one-man show.  We need to be connected with those in the body of Christ as a team. We need people who will stand with us in battle and cover our back.   Also, we need to be willing to be armor bearers for others in their battles. 

Qualities of a successful accountability relationship:  I’ve been involved in several accountability relationships.  Some of them were good and others not so good.  I’ve highlighted some qualities of successful accountability groups below.   

Truth:  This may be the biggest challenge week in and week out.  The group members must fight the temptation to gloss over what is really going on in their lives.  If people aren’t being real about what is going on, then the group will lose effectiveness.  It may be difficult to admit that we’re struggling, but it’s even more difficult to admit when we’ve failed.   

Tough Questions:  Tough questions will help keep us from glossing over the core issues.  Here are some examples:

  • Did you look at porn this week?

  • Did you masturbate this week?

  • Did you take actions to avoid a repeat scenario of how you fell? 

  • What can I do to help you avoid or escape the triggers that lead you to sin? (phone call; prayer; lunch, etc.)

  • What areas can I address in prayer for you during this week?

  • Have you lied to me in any of the above answers?

Love:  Love will keep the relationship alive and free from any "legalistic" turns.  Failures should be addressed with gentle rebuke, prayer and exhortation.  Love is quick to listen and slow to speak.  I’ve found it’s often a temptation to want to give advice and a quick fix.  People don’t always want or need my advice, but they do want me to listen to them.  

Who to meet with?  We encourage you to seek God’s guidance for this.  You obviously want to be cautious about who you approach.  Look for God’s prompting and confirmation as you go forward.  If you are not sure about where to look for a potential group, your church may be a good place to start.

Can my spouse be my accountability partner?  Unless you are walking in sexual purity right now, we recommend that you do not make your spouse your accountability partner.  This is primarily because of the emotional “re-wounding” that can occur if you fall back into your sex sin habit regularly. 

Personal Application Questions:

  • Have you allowed yourself to be isolated from God and/or the body of Christ because of your sin?  If so, what steps will you take to get re-connected?

  • Have you told someone close to you about your secret sin yet?  If not, what are the excuses you are using for not doing so?

  • How many of those excuses are based on truth?

  • Are you willing to surrender to God any fears you may have about breaking secrecy?  If so, please take a moment and speak to the Lord in prayer about your fears. A suggested prayer is, "Father, I confess that I have allowed the fear of _______(list) to control me and keep me in secrecy.  Please help me break the power of fear and have the courage to break secrecy.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

  • If you are not ready to break secrecy, please make a note in your calendar for next month to reconsider the decision.   Continued secrecy will only hinder your walk to freedom.

  • Are you involved in an accountability relationship right now? What steps will you take to get connected with a group?  

  • If there are no accountability groups in your area, would you consider starting your own group?

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