What About Your Secret Life?
And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
If chapter 2 were all we had of Romans, we’d think that we had to spend our whole life trying to earn God’s salvation. Even more discouraging would be the knowledge that, in the end, we wouldn’t be able to do it. Romans 2 is part of a larger conversation, one that ends with the wonder of God’s grace in Christ. But for now, we’re confronted with our moral failures and the fact of God’s judgment. As I’ve said before, this is the bad news that sets up the good news.
God judges, not only our outward behavior, but also our inner secrets. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God” (Heb. 4:13). We might be able to fool people by what we do and say, but God sees everything about us, including our worst thoughts and dreams. This would be terribly distressing, except for what we’ll learn later on in Romans about God’s love and grace.
In the meanwhile, we should take a moment to reflect upon our own secret life. Are we being transformed, inside out? Are we allowing the Spirit of God to heal us, transform us, and renew us? Are we hiding the Word of God deep into our hearts, so that we might not sin against him (Ps. 119:11)? What does God see when he looks into our secret life?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What is the state of your secret life today? Are you being transformed on the inside by the Word and Spirit of God? Are there thoughts or attitudes that you need to confess, so that God might forgive and cleanse you?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, you know everything about me. Nothing is hidden from you. You see the sin that festers within me, that which nobody else sees, that which I even try to deny or minimize. Forgive me, gracious God, for all that is within me that is contrary to your holiness. By your mercy, I ask not only for forgiveness, but also for cleansing. May your Spirit renew me, making me more like you. May I think your thoughts and feel your feelings. Let my secret life honor you, dear Lord. Amen.