Ashley Madison prided itself in being a confidential online dating site for married individuals seeking to have an affair. However, after hackers infiltrated their site and stole millions of customer records, they leaked those records to the press. As a result, millions of men, women, and families have been affected by sin kept in the dark. But, it’s not Ashley Madison or the sin of adultery that I want us to focus on today. Instead, I want us to look at the hidden sin in our own hearts and discover how we can find forgiveness, restoration, and freedom in coming into the Light.
The past few weeks I’ve been meditating on these verses: For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. (Eph. 5:8-14a)
There is so much rich truth in these verses, and a simple blog post will not do them justice. But, we can learn a few things in our time together. First, if you are a daughter of God and a follower of Christ, then you are no longer to live in the darkness, but in the light. This truth is so much easier said than done. We all face temptation, and we all sin. However, as believers, we should be eager to confess our sin and be restored in our relationship with Jesus (1 Jn 1:9). Satan wants nothing more than for us to sin and then hide from God and from other Christians. Satan tricks us into thinking that no one would understand our sin, and, if told, our Christian friends would run from us. So, we isolate ourselves. And this brings me to the second truth.
When we sin, God desires for us to expose our sin and bring it into His light. Isolation is one of Satan’s most powerful tools. There was a time in my life when I was struggling with a deep-rooted sin. It was part of my life before becoming a Christ follower, and I struggled with it after finding Jesus. I went years without telling anyone. As a result, I fought and struggled alone. I didn’t have anyone holding me accountable because no one knew. I thought that to keep it quiet would keep me safe. Instead, I discovered that keeping it quiet only allowed Satan to tear me apart. I knew that God said there was freedom in Jesus, and He came so that I could experience a victorious life (Gal 4:8-5:1). But, all I knew was bondage. Then one amazing day, a friend came to me and confessed one of her sin struggles. In that moment, I knew it was either now or never. With my heart pounding, palms sweating, and eyes downcast, I told her. I wait for her to run, but instead she prayed. I waited for her to throw stones, but instead she loved. I waited for lightening to strike, but instead I felt and found freedom. My sin was exposed, and I knew that Satan was on his way to defeat in this area of my life.
Please hear me; the same freedom is offered and available to you. If you are in a sin struggle, please don’t fight alone.
Find a mature Christian woman and confess to her what is going on in your life. Don’t allow Satan to blackmail you into silence and isolation. We all have junk in our lives, and we are all in need of God’s grace. Jesus paid for our sin on the cross and then rose from the grave so that we can experience freedom and true life on this side of Heaven. Come out of the shadows, dear sister, and embrace the freedom that comes from exposing your sin to the Light.
The last truth is that the light of Jesus brings clarity. Have you ever found yourself in a pitch black room that was unfamiliar to you? This situation happens to me almost every time I stay in a hotel room. I get out of bed, stumble around, and seek to find a lamp to bring some light to the confusion. Confession of sin turns on the light in our lives. Exposing our sin releases us of the power and control of that sin. We realize that we aren’t the only one struggling, and we invite others to come alongside us and help us. Exposure also causes us to realize that the sin can be conquered through prayer, reading the Word, and releasing the power that comes with accountability. When someone else knows and we give them permission to ask us about our sin, then we are less likely to continually fall to the power of that sin. At times, the temptation may overtake us, but the power of exposure protects us from becoming enslaved to that sin.
I don’t know where you are in your sin struggle. There may be a hidden sin that has kept you in bondage for years. I encourage you to take a leap of faith, find a mature, trusted friend, and then share that sin with her. Let her come alongside you and walk with you towards the freedom that is found in Jesus. You may be one who has been released from the power and bondage of a particular sin. I encourage you to share your story, even if you aren’t specific about the sin. There are women who need to know that they can be free. There are women who need your example. And, there are women who need you to walk with them. Ladies, we are all in this fight together, and we need each other to win it. I am praying for you!