What are you hiding? (Life is Too Short to be Fake series #3)
Jason White



What are you hiding? If we are going to take off our masks and live authentically, we have to trust that Jesus will empower us to share our unresolved sin and hurts with others.







Sermon Transcript
So this is week three in our final week of this message series that we've been in called Life is too short to be fake. Over the last few weeks, we've been talking about how on resolved sin in our lives, leads to shame. We feel shame from the sin that has been unresolved in our lives. And it's that shame that causes us to feel like we have to hide that we have to cover things up. It's what causes us to wear masks. But it's not just our sin, we've also been talking about how unresolved hurts in our lives, the sins of others against us, can also cause us to feel shame in our lives. And when we feel that shame even in those times, we feel the need to hide and cover up and to begin to wear masks as well. And so as we finish this series up today, thinking along those lines, my simple question for you is this. What is it that you are still hiding? What is it that you're covering up? What unresolved sin do you have in your life? What are you still feeling shame over that you've committed maybe years and years and years ago, but it's never been resolved? What sins are you continuing to commit over and over again and haven't been able to get a real hold of in your life and still causing you to feel shame and hide those things from other people and not bring them out into the light to get the help that you really need? What hurts? Are you still carrying around? Who is it that hurt you? In your past that you are still holding on to that causes you shame? today?What are you hiding?To number of things that we could be hiding in our lives. Give you a number of examples today. might fill up the rest of our time if we tried to go through all of them. But I think one of the things that statistics tell us at least that a lot of people in here right now in this very moment are struggling with in hiding in their lives is pornography. I mean, statistics tell us that 68% of churchgoing men view pornography on a regular basis. Notice that I didn't say just 68% of men out there. I said 68% of church, going men. That means almost three out of every four men that are sitting in this gym right now are regularly looking at pornography, and experiencing the shame that is associated with that. But it's not just men. I don't have the numbers for you. But I can tell you in everything that you pull up, over and over again, people talk about how increasingly more and more women are also viewing pornography today. It's on the rise. And it's even women who are in the church. And I think if you factor in not just pornography and what you can witness online, that would be classified as pornography, if you were to add even things like erotic novels and that kind of thing, then it would skyrocket when you're talking about our females and women in society as well. This is an issue that is causing a lot of problems and a lot of shame, and is affecting a lot of people not just out there in the world, but in here in our churches as well. And because there can be so much a shame associated with those things and watching porn, it is a key area that we hide that people tend to cover up and because it's kept in the dark, that habit often grows during that time and it gets deeper and deeper and darker and darker. And it begins to affect you personally. It's affecting your marriage. It's affecting your intimacy and your job in a number of areas in life. But Satan still convinces us that we should not talk about these things and bring them out into the light because they can't know that that is what is really going on in your life. Is that what you're hiding today? If it's not pornography, maybe it's for you teenagers or those who are a little bit younger, is it sexting? I mean, one out of every four teenagers statistics, say, are sent explicit text, or emails from other people, one out of every four are being sent sexually explicit text, and one out of every five teenagers are sending sexual images of themselves to others through texts. Is that what you're hiding today? Again, it's another one of those areas that there can be so much shame associated with it, that you can't talk about that you certainly can't talk about that kind of thing. And if it's been sent to someone else, they can hold that power over you and make sure that you don't tell because then they threatened to send those things to other people. And it can be the kind of thing that's just continued to be left in the dark, and there's anxiety and worry and fear, and all kinds of other emotions associated with those kinds of things. It's not pornography, if it's not sexting, maybe there's something like an abortion that was in your past. Maybe it was something that you thought was the best thing for you at that particular time in your life, or maybe someone else decided that that was the best thing for you, at that particular time in your life. And even if that was years ago, you are still carrying that around with you today. And you're still feeling the shame that is associated with that. And how you can't let anyone know, you especially can't tell someone in the church about that kind of thing. What are they going to think about you if they know that that's a part of your past? Are you carrying around that kind of weight and that kind of burden from a choice that you made, or someone else led you to make in your life? It's not that are you hiding gender and sexuality confusion that you are experiencing? You hear so much about that today in the LGBTQ identification and gender issues, or maybe you've even experienced emotions or feelings in your own life in regard to those kinds of things, and you just stuffed it down, because that is way too embarrassing to talk about you fear how other people in your family or especially in the church may react if you talk about those things. And so you don't say anything, you just hide your struggles, and the anxiety is growing. You don't know how to process these things, and it's eating you up, and it's killing you inside. But you can't tell anyone. But it's not those kinds of thing. Maybe the thing that you are hiding is finances, maybe you're keeping money from your spouse, maybe you're hiding purchases that you make 39% of adults who are married in the United States admit to having committed financial infidelity. They're hiding money from their spouse, they're spending money that their spouse doesn't know about, maybe that's what you're hiding in your marriage. If it's not that specific, maybe you're just having problems in your marriage in general. But that's the kind of thing that you've never really opened up and talked about. And maybe it's the kind of thing that has been going on for a while. But again, you're supposed to be the good church going tight. And you're not supposed to have problems like that. When it comes to marriage, you're supposed to be happy. And you're supposed to put things a good, nice appearance together in front of other people. So we can't talk about those kinds of things. Because then we'll give Jesus a bad name, then there's things that people are going to think about me and that's going to be even worse. Of course, covering it up and hiding. It doesn't make it go away. It's still there, it usually gets more worse over time. And you're still carrying around those things today. Maybe even in your marriage. The problem is that you've faced something as severe as abuse could have been physical abuse or sexual abuse or verbal abuse. And it may be something that you're even experiencing right now in this moment, and you're carrying around the shame and you're hiding from that you don't want other people to know that's what you're experiencing. You don't want to know other people to know that that's what you've been putting up with, or that's what's really been going on. And listen, that is the kind of thing that needs to be brought out into the light. I even had one conversation with someone not real long ago that was putting up with abuse in their marriage and just thought that's what they were supposed to do because they were supposed to be a submissive wife. Like that is not what it means to submit to one another. By the way, that's what it says before Wives submit to your husbands in that passage is to submit MIT to one another. So please, if that kind of thing is going on, find someone safe, talk to them about those things, bring those things out into the light. Maybe it's not something that's happening right now, though, but it was something that happened to you in your past. But again, there's shame associated with that, and you're carrying those things around with you today, you're still holding on to them, I can't imagine how difficult that must be the burden and the weight that you must feel to hold those kinds of things in. That may have happened to you at one point in time, but you just don't feel like you can get any relief from or talk to anyone about. Maybe it's nothing like that for you. But you're just having real problems with mental health kind of things. There's anxiety, there's fear, there's worry, there's depression, there's stress, but you cannot talk about those things. Because you fear what other people are going to think about you especially if you're a Christian, or if you're a young person, what are your friends going to say about you? What are your parents going to say, you're going to be a disappointment to them. Maybe you're a leader in the community or own a business, and you can't talk about those things you just gotta hide, maybe you were taught, that's just what you're supposed to do. You don't talk about your problems. You don't talk about these kinds of things out in the real world.Can we just be real herefor a minute. It's no secret that wasn't that long ago, just a month or two ago, that we had a pastor in our own community who committed suicide. And he writes a note before he committed suicide. And the basically what he's saying is that he's been experiencing depression, as far back as he can remember, in his entire life, he's just been sad, and it will not go away. The guy was 40, something years old, and he had never told a living soul, about the depression and the sadness that he felt until it got so severe that he felt like there was no way out. And the only thing that he could do is take his life in that moment,the shame that he's experience.There's a pastor not supposed to feel sad, my suppose to be depressed, I can't tell other people about that kind of thing. What are they gonna think about Jesus, if I do that, for real, probably just be better off if I wasn't here. By the way, that's not true. If you're experiencing any of those kinds of thoughts with this, and depression, or anxiety, or anything that I've listed out or anything else today, please know. That is not what you have to do. There's always a way out. God loves you. He does have a great plan for your life. Even though there are situations and things that are dark, and they're hard, that he loves you there are other people who love you. This is the kind of thing we want to bring out into the light. We need to be talking about you to allow other people in no matter what it is. That's going on. My point is, is that most of us are hiding something. I'd venture to say all of us are hiding something.What is it that you're hiding?What are you covering up today? What unresolved sin is still going on that you're feeling shame for and will not talk to someone about what other unresolved hurts have gone on in your life that you're not talking about with other people. Whatever it is, you can talk about it. And the reason that you can talk about it is because of God's on conditional love for you. Our shame and our fear of others and of God is what tends to keep us pressing down on those things and stuffing them in hiding and putting the masks on. But listen to what First John chapter four verse 18, says, There is no fear in love. There's no fear in love, but perfect, dry. love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment guys, God's love His unconditional love for you and for me and for us drives out fear when we truly begin to understand the depth of his love and how truly unconditional it really is than you and I will be free from the fear that fear will be driven out of our lives and we don't have to live in the hiding meaning that the shame is producing in our lives because that, that love will cast out that fear that's associated with that shame. few verses earlier, John says this in the same chapter, he says, If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them, and they in God. And so we know in rely on the love of God, the love God has for us. God is love, John says, and whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. Everyone say this with me. I am not living for God's love. Say I am living in God's love. If God is love, and he lives in you, and you live in God, you live in God's love, like all of the time, all of the time, even in the depths of your shame, in the darkest moments of your life, you live in His love, He is love, you're in a constant union with Him. If you said yes to Jesus, it's impossible to not live in his love to not be in His love. Now, if you are having to live for His love, then let me be honest with you, you should fear. If you had to live for His love, you should fear the can, you should hide because you're going to fall short every single time. But if you're living in his love, then that kind of love casts out fear, you can come out of hiding, you can talk about what is really going on the pornography struggles, you can tell your parents if you have been sexting, you can talk about your marriage problems and financial infidelity. You can talk about the gender confusion and LGBTQ identification issues, you can talk about your stress, anxiety, depression, abuse, the abortion, your eating disorder, or whatever else it is that is going on in your life. So why not start today? Why not start today? Why not start resting in Jesus's perfect love for you. And allowing it to cast out the fear that's keeping you in the dark and keeping you hiding. Why not talk to God about it beginning right now today? Why not find a trusted other in and talk to them about it today? Why not bring it out into the light and allow God and others that God lives in to help you with the things that you're covering up and you truly need to get resolved in your life. I have a friend who was a deacon at another church. And he was a successful guy had a successful career in the community. He was a leader in our church, he, he worked in a lot of different areas of the church, his job was stressful. He was having problems in his marriage. He had unresolved sin issues in his life. And he felt like he could not talk about any of them. You can't talk about your marriage problems if you're a deacon, not supposed to have those kinds of problems. If you're seen as a leader in the church, he couldn't talk about problems and unresolved sin that he had in his life because he's supposed to be a leader in the church, he's supposed to be one that's past the sand and leading others into not sinning right. And so you keep those things down, you put on a mask, and you just keep hiding and going. And eventually, the pressure he felt so intensely inside of him was so dark and so much there that he felt like the only way that he could get some relief was to start drinking. And he would just drink a little bit to take the edge off at night and to be able to get a little bit of rest but a little bit turned into a little bit more a little bit more turned in a little bit more until finally he had a real problem. The thing was is he was a closet drinker though he even hid that like he was hiding everything in his life. And it became a real problem. And not only was that the problem, but I mean, the marriage problems didn't go away. The unresolved sin in his life didn't go away with the drinking all of the other things that were going on in his life, were still there that the stress associated with his job, but now he's got a drinking problem on top of them all. This is just what Satan does. He just compounds and compounds and compounds. And finally, he began to sense God's perfect love that drives out all fear. God gave him the courage to admit that he had a problem in these areas and he came out to his wife and he told her that he had a problem with this. He stood up before all of the Deacons in the church and he said confessed his sin to every single one of the deacons. He even stood up on the stage in front of the entire church, and admitted to what was going on in his life, he got it all out into the light and said, Here it is God, I'm done hiding, it's yours, and I need your support. And I need your encouragement, and they rallied around him, and they got him into an alcohol treatment facility. And he lived in the light while he was there until he got the help that he need to be able to overcome those things. And whenever he got out, he continued to live in the light, he continued to talk about the struggles and when he was tempted to go back to alcohol, and he began to talk about his marriage issues and the unresolved sin in his life and the stresses that he had at work. And he'll tell you that that has produced so much freedom in his life, his 10 years later, and he's still sober, and he's still working through some of these things. But he's on the right path. And that's the thing, a lot of times we feel like, we can't tell other people because of the fear and the bondage, and we don't know, we worry about all of the stuff. But when you finally begin to sense that perfect love that drives out fear and you put it out in the light, that's the thing that allows you to live with so much freedom, and really experience the freedom in your life. Because you're like, I don't have to stuff it. I don't have to hide it. I don't have to worry about other people are gonna think I'm just gonna get it all out there and say, God, you deal with it, as I walk through the mess, and you put other people in and around me to walk through it with me. And it just kind of takes the power that Satan's holding over us in those moments away. So again,what is it you're hiding? What are you covering up?What is it that you need to talk to God about today, or you need to talk about with a trusted friend. Say this is what's really going on? I need you to pray for me. I need help. I need support, I need encouragement. Would you come out of hiding today?You talk about what's really going on.One more thing that we need to talk about along these lines. Because sometimes you won't be the one that's coming out of hiding but someone else will be coming out of hiding to you. How you respond to them in those moments is critically important. Very important. First, John, the backup a little bit in chapter four. Starting in verse seven says Dear friends, don't you love that, dear friends? Your friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who has been born of God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God, Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us. He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. In other words, Jesus didn't just put his love in you and fill you up with that love for you to be able to rest in it. I mean, he did do that he did fill you up with his his love to be able to rest from feeling like you had to perform for his love or perform for others for their love. But he didn't just stop there. He fills you up with that kind of love so that it would overflow through you and into other people's lives as well. And so if we receive, if we receive the perfect love that cast out fear, then that's the same kind of love that Jesus wants to express in and through you. In in and through me, that kind of love that cast out fear in other people's lives, so that they will be willing to share about the things that are going on in their lives. But often times, whether it's our family members, whether it's the church, especially the church, that's not been the case. We haven't allowed that perfect love that cast out fear to flow through us to others. But we've actually condemned people when they came out in their sin. The church has actually made a public spectacle of people whenever they've come out with their unresolved Sin, the church has encouraged people to not talk about their show. That's not the kind of thing you can talk about around here, we want to maintain our perfect image, we don't want that getting out too far, you need to just stuff that down. We don't talk about certain things around here. So as we talk about taking masks off, and being a church that that values authenticity, we've got to allow Jesus's love through us to impact people in their struggles. As they open up to us about them, we've got to create atmospheres, where that same perfect love that drives out fear that we're filled up in and we're living in union with God and able to experience is what's flowing through us. So that other sense that same perfect love to be able to cast out that fear, to say, here's what's really going on in our world. So as you consider what all you need to bring out into the light, can you also be considering how to let Jesus love others through you, as they bring their stuff out into the light as well, I can't help but think in a day and age where a lot of people don't come to church. Or a lot of people don't want to have anything to do with the church, that if they saw the church actually living in the light, and talking about real things that we struggled with and seeing a community of other people in the church come alongside of people, when they talk about the real things that are going on in their lives and getting support and encouragement and walking through them and helping carry burdens with them. That that might be the thing that Jesus uses to capture the attention of a lost and dying world around us and bring them into church. A lot of times, they don't want anything to have to do with what's going on in the church, because they've seen inexperienced, those who are in the church, just wearing masks, we don't talk about the real problems, we just pretend that we're great. And everything's good in our lives. And a lot of times, here's the honest truth, we think we're hiding all of this stuff really well in our families and before other people, but they know what's going on, they can see right through it. And they know we're just putting on a front and pretending that everything's okay. And everything's great. And I'm some Perfect, great Christian, you know, man or woman, and they can see right through it. So they don't want anything to have to do with the church. Because in their minds, that's what church is. Everybody just has to put on a mask and pretend that everything's okay. Well, what if they didn't have to do that, because they saw the rest of us as the church taking off our masks, and talking about real things that were going on, and seeing the way that people still loved us and supported us and didn't have to experience the shame that was going on in our lives. So here's the deal, I'm gonna invite Emily or whoever's coming back up to lead us in our time of invitation. And the thing is, is I can't think of any better time than the present, to bring things out into the light. I mean, if we're going to talk about this and talk about being real, then what better time than to just talk about what's really going on on our lives right now, in this very moment? Chances are, as we've been talking about this throughout the entire morning, that the Lord has brought things to your mind that as soon as I asked the question, what is it that you are hiding? That thing came to the forefront of your mind, you know, what you're hiding? You know, what you're covering up, you know, what you're still wrestling with and dealing with and struggling with and cannot find victory over right now. You know, the hurts and you know, the pains and it's right there. And Jesus is saying my perfect love drives out fear. Let's bring it out into the light. Let's not walk out of here another day and give satan another opportunity to say okay, I know you felt like you needed to share that while you were in there. But it's a good thing you didn't because you really didn't need to do that. And then you don't ever do it after you leave. Today's the day to get the help that you need. Today's the day to admit the things that are really going on in your life. Today is the day to let His perfect love casts out all fear. You can talk about your pornography problems this morning. If you've been sending text to other people of yourself or receiving them teenagers, you can talk about that with your parents right now this morning. If you've been struggling and wrestling because you've had an abortion in your past, you've got abuse in your past, you're feeling depressed, you're feeling scared and lonely and you don't know what to do with the fear and the anxiety and the worry that you're facing. You can talk about those things. Today. So as we sing this time, during this time of invitation, I'm going to be standing up front, I've asked a few other people to come up here with me, these are the kinds of people that I would go to, if I had things going on in my life that I could talk to that I know we're not going to talk to other people, and they're gonna pray, and they're gonna support and they're encouraged, and they're gonna listen, and they're gonna be Jesus with skin on it to me. And if you need to come to somebody today, and Jesus is saying, now's the time, then they're gonna be here, and you need to step out of your chair this morning. And you need to find one of them before you leave, don't let Satan tuck you into holding it in one more second. And if you don't feel comfortable coming to one of us who are up here, but there's someone else in this room, maybe you're a teenager, and you need to talk to your parent, you take them and you get out of here and you go talk to them today. Maybe there's another trusted adult or someone that you need to talk to you spend your time doing whatever it is that you need to do. But now's your time, to Quit letting Satan hold so much power over you, convincing you that you can't bring this out into the light. You can because perfect love drives out fear. Father, I pray that in this moment, as we enter into this time of response, an invitation that I trust that you have been bringing things to the forefront of our minds, things that we've been holding in that we need real help with and we need to let others in on and God I just pray that you would continue to give the power and strength and courage to talk about these things with some of these individuals who are upfront or if the trusted other person in the room. But right now we make ourselves available to you and no matter what the cost. Will you move our bodies, we move us to say what it is that we need to say as we enter into this time. Jesus name amen.