26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Yesterday at work I was asked for some documentation that was needed for an audit. Immediately, I knew that I had become lax in the execution of the process I had been using for keeping this documentation and that I would have trouble providing this information to the auditors. Instantly, I become anxious and afraid. It was right before lunch and all I could think about the whole time was what would I do to answer the auditors. I was replaying the whole year back wondering what I could have done differently. When I got back to the office I had an opportunity to let the auditors know I didn’t have the documentation readily available. The temptation was to stall and maybe push dealing with it off until another day, but I was given the chance to be honest about the situation, and I let the auditors know that I didn’t have the documentation and why. No stall, no deception, no blame-shifting, just the truth. After the conversation I was at peace. It’s pretty wild that in a moment, just from an email, fear and anxiety entered into my life and likewise, in a moment through truth, everything was restored.
I share all this to hopefully demonstrate the Biblical principles at work in today’s verses. Jesus is teaching us some very key concepts. The first concept is that there really are no secrets that can be kept. All things will be known eventually. Think of the deceptions or secrets you have tried to keep. Have you been successful? Jesus is also reminding us that God sees and knows all, so even if we think we are hiding something from the rest of humanity, it is not hidden from God.
God’s awareness of all our actions is the second concept. Jesus is teaching us in verse 28 to question who we fear. Do we fear God or do we fear man and why does it matter? Jesus is exhorting us to fear God and not man because it is God who holds power over us. God is the one is charge of our eternal destiny. God is the one who sustains our very existence. We should fear God, and out of that fear we should be mindful of His commands. We should not break His command to be honest by lying to kept us out of conflict with others. Additionally, we are God witnesses and representatives. Nothing can tarnish the way others feel about God quicker than discovering the overt dishonesty or deception of one of His followers.
So what is the application? For me its simply to always strive to be honest with people regardless of what I think the consequence will be. I think this approach honors God first and foremost and it allows us to depend on Him to take care of us in times of trouble. It also defuses fear of man. I might have still be fretting about how to deal with my documentation issue this morning if I had not dealt with it honestly yesterday. I know there are days where I haven’t felt like reading the Word or writing because I was trapped in the fear of some unresolved situation. Jesus is teaching us that all things will be revealed and to fear God first and submit all to Him and to remember that it is into His hand we are committed and that no person can affect our lives the way He can!
Heavenly Father, creator of all things and the sustainer of life. Let us humbly petition you today. Father, forgive us when we are deceptive and dishonest. Forgive us when we fear people more than we fear You. Teach us your ways O Lord. Let us walk upright before you. Deliver us from our own flesh that desires deceit and empower to walk boldly in the new life of Spirit. We proclaim you goodness and we lift praise you! We honor you in all things, and we submit this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.