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Awakenings

The Secrets Between You and God

Our secrets that we hold can kill us. But secrets shared with God can be the very thing that saves our lives. There are secrets that are held between you and God.

These secrets can be immaculate treasures if we allow them to be. Now this truth contradicts every other thing that I have taught my children regarding secrets.

From early on, Jody and I taught our kids that secrets are not to be kept from us as parents. We taught them never to believe any adult who encourage them to enter into or keep secrets. We’ve kept our promise to them that we would not hold secrets from them, but instead share our lives with them in age appropriate ways. The only good secrets are the ones we hold for surprise parties and birthday gifts.

The truth that there are secrets that can be kept between you and God counters a different essential truth regarding emotional recovery and health. Within the recovery community, my brothers and sisters share a vital admonition – your secrets will kill you. It’s absolutely true. The secrets we keep about the pain and shame and confusion that we all fear are the very things that keep us isolated from each other and unable to find healing and relief.

The freedom that comes from the fact that there can be secrets between you and God even contradicts the wonderful early teaching that I received regarding prayer. As a young man entering into this exciting new world of faith and following Christ, I received this advice from a wizened old pastor. “A good Christian should always be ready to pray out loud and to give his testimony.” Nothing was to be kept secret, but was instead to be shared with anyone and everyone who was willing to listen. (BTW, this advice about prayer and sharing your story still stands as some of the best that I have ever received, and I commend it to you as well.)

While in my Lenten reading today from Matthew 6, I notice something that surprised me – two little words “in secret.”

About giving in secret (Matthew 6:3 & 4) About praying in secret (Matthew 6:6) About fasting in secret (Matthew 6:18)

So, why are we encouraged to do these things “in secret?” Why are we directed to this quieter, more intimate path?

Because the God of the universe has some things that He simply wants to share with you. They are not for anyone else. They are secret treasures, only for the two of you.

Back when Jody and I were dating, my best friend was a guy named Terry. Terry and I drove Jody crazy because we never actually completed our sentences to each other. There was no need. He was my best friend, best man at my wedding. We had known each other so long and so well that there was nothing hidden. We had been through so much stuff together that we simply knew what the other guy was thinking.

Now, after 19 years married, Jody and I share the joy of secrets that don’t belong to anyone else but us. They are the exclusive domain of a husband and wife, and form the core of who we are as a couple. And we now possess life-giving secrets with our children, the kind that bonds us together as a family. Inside jokes that no one else will ever get, but that never fail to crack us up. Hard conversations had during times of struggle. Stories just for us and about us.

That’s what Jesus means by “in secret.” Not the secrets and lies that want to rob our life from us. No, those are the things that God invites us to bring to Him “in secret.” God, “who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Reward us with what? His presence.

In connecting with Him “in secret,” we cultivate an awareness that He is always with us, and on our side. And this only comes from spending time together, praying, giving, and focusing our inner life toward Him.

To steal a phrase from a friend, we are creating small “sacred containers.” These sacred containers are simply points of connection and conversation, where we allow God to share His life with us, and for us to share our lives with Him. These sacred containers are the places where you and God can hold your life affirming secrets, which are meant for only you and Him.

So what does this look like? How do you begin?

  1. Try sharing a secret with God. In prayer, simply tell him a secret. It can be something simple and silly, like “I’m not sure what those pastor types are talking ’bout half the time and I could care even less.” Or it could be something more intimate, closer to your heart.
  2. And then do something really crazy. Ask God to tell you a secret. Something just about you and Him. Trust that He is really there, that He really hears you, and that He actually cares about you – specifically – apart from anyone else.
  3. And somewhere where no one else could possibly read them, write down your impressions.

Try this three times – and see what happens. Would love to hear your thoughts on this practice. Weigh in with a comment.

Me…well you can find me twittering @bill_todd and you can find Jody twittering @jodytodd and her blog at http://unraveled1207.wordpress.com.

Have a great week and I can’t wait to hear what you’re thinking!

Bill

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About Bill Todd

Bill Todd is a spiritual director and speaker living in Franklin TN. He is patiently loved by Jody Todd, and their children Kaleigh, Hannah, and Liam.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “The Secrets Between You and God

  1. Dear management, I cannot tell you my secret. It is something held in strictest confidence between myself & God. I can tell you this, he is not shocked nor alarmed. As always, your posts are thought provoking & insightful. Please continue to keep this fine establishment in top notch condition. I will return regularly. Sincerely, a favorite customer.

    Posted by T | February 23, 2010, 10:12 pm
  2. Oh, Brother, don’t I FINALLY know it?!? For some reason, I don’t know how to take an easy path, but maybe it’s because I don’t learn anything if it comes easy. I am learning exactly when and where the best times/places are for me and God to communicate, and I’m learning exactly how he communicates back with me….and It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever known.
    Love you B.T.
    -vw

    Posted by Vicdawg | February 24, 2010, 9:47 am
  3. It always a surprise when he shows up, isn’t it. He’s been doing for years, and yet I still wonder… will He show up again?

    He always does.

    Posted by redbackpack | February 24, 2010, 12:06 pm
  4. I always sidestep my prayers. I know that I am going to do something wrong and avoid even mentioning it to God (as if I could hide anything from God ,but still I do it) I have recently tryed to be more honest sharing these secrets with God but not in the way I probbably should.
    I will say for example, “God I am going to see Joe Shmoe today and I am going to give him a piece of my mind. I know I should act more Christ like but Lord you know what he did! Remember he did X,Y, and,Z and then sang about it praising himself singing `now I know my ABC`s` Lord you know I did ABC in fact I did A-W and all Joe Shmoe did was X,Y,Z. But he took the credit for all the work when I did most of it and then he sang about `his` accomplishment! Now Lord I don`t want your help controling me, I just want you to forgive me later when I come back to you and ask.”
    Just writting down and tracking my self and my request to God I can see my faults. I look at God as if he is Santa Clause! I was good most of the time so give me what I want! I ask for things that have nothing to do with my well being or the well being of others. I go to God with a wish list because I think I deserve it, that some how I have earned it!
    I think tracking myself and being honest with myself will help keep me in line with the true desires of our most desrving Father,

    Thank you

    Posted by kevin | February 26, 2010, 11:19 am
  5. The secrets of life always shows that which person is more near to our heart because we only share our secrets with our loved ones…

    Posted by The God Secret by Greg Rigby | March 10, 2010, 2:37 am
  6. Hey this is an awesome idea. However, using wisdom before you go ahead and tell everyone your problems.. Pray first, if you dont get an answer straight away, keep waiting and praying! 🙂

    Posted by Kaylia | September 13, 2012, 6:32 am
  7. Question; if i ask God to help me with somthing in secret and i dont want anyone knowng about it is it okay to lie just for that one thing? please someone respond

    Posted by Jacob Marsh | January 15, 2014, 11:20 pm
    • Jacob, if you are talking to God about an issue, you don’t have to let everyone in on the conversation. It is not only OK, it can be wise to keep the conversation between you and God until you get some clarity and resolution.

      The only time this would not be OK is if you are thinking of harming yourself or someone else. Additionally, if you know that someone is being harmed (including you,)

      But outside of those immediately dangerous situations, you can keep your conversations with God confidential.

      Does that help?

      btw, this blog is no longer active. But I would love to chat more over at our new home redbackpack.net .

      Posted by Bill Todd | January 17, 2014, 6:24 pm

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