Everyone has a story to tell, and every part of our lives make up that story… victories, successes and the mistakes. Author Jeannie St. John Taylor wrote a book called “You Wouldn’t Love Me if You Knew” where a boy did something wrong and is afraid he can never be forgiven. He tries to replace the mistake with a series of good deeds but he never feels good enough. Once he comes clean, he learns a powerful truth about forgiveness.
- When was the last time you felt unforgivable? What did you learn?
- How often to you feel like that little boy… if we only knew your deepest and darkest most private secrets of your life?
- If you are currently keeping a secret, why do you think you are afraid to be honest?
- When was a time where you came clean with a secret, how did the most important people in your life respond?
- How do relationship suffer or benefit from being vulnerable?
- How did you feel after seeing this scene in the film?
- How do you think Hannah felt when Cindy denied her the truth she was seeking? How can you relate?
- Has someone close to you ever kept a secret (the truth) from you? How did you feel? How did you respond when you learned the truth?
- How can you relate to Cindy’s response in this scene?
Bible Study: (2 Samuel 12:1-17) David is a man that has all of his ups and downs record for the world to see, throughout generations of time. The man after God’s own heart, the adulterous murderer king.
David was a giant among godly leaders, but he remained human as his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah showed. He spied Bathsheba bathing, desired her, and engineered the death of her faithful warrior husband, after committing adultery with her (2 Sam. 11).
Nathan, the prophet, confronted David with his secret sin, and David confessed his wrongdoing. The newborn child of David and Bathsheba died. David acknowledged his helplessness in the situation, confessing faith that he would go to be with the child one day. Bathsheba conceived again, bearing Solomon (2 Samuel 12:1-25).
- How is it easier to see the sin in someone else but not see it in ourselves? (2 Samuel 12:5-6)
- What did Nathan say would be the result of David’s sin? (2 Samuel 12:10-14)
- How did David respond when his sin was uncovered? (2 Samuel 12:16-17)
- How are you impacted by knowing that David was forgiven but still had to endure the consequences of his sin?
For the rest of the story: Able to rule the people but not his family, David saw intrigue, sexual sins, and murder rock his own household, resulting in his isolation from and eventual retreat before his son Absalom.
- David grieved long and deep when his army killed Absalom (2 Samuel 18:19-33).
- David’s kingdom was restored, but the hints of division between Judah and Israel remained (2 Samuel 19:40-43).
- David had to put down a northern revolt (2 Samuel 20).
- The last act the books of Samuel report about David is his census of the people, bringing God’s anger but also preparing a place for the temple to be built (2 Samuel 24).
- The last chapters of 1 Chronicles describe extensive preparations David made for the building and the worship services of the temple.
- David’s final days involved renewed intrigue among his family, as Adonijah sought to inherit his father’s throne, but Nathan and Bathsheba worked to ensure that Solomon became the next king (1 Kings 1:1-2:12).
Take a look at Psalm 32:
- David writes these psalms as confession of his sin. Psalm 32:3 mentions that he kept silent about his sin, how did that make him feel physically and emotionally? (Psalm 32:3-4)
- What are some ways that you see sin and guilt affecting people?
- According to Psalm 32:5, what did David do and what did God do?
- What lessons did David learn about sin and secrets (Bathsheba, Uriah, the front lines)? (Psalm 32:6-11)
A baby lost his life, a warrior lost his life, a woman lost her husband… but don’t judge David too harshly. How have you been like David the sinner?
Take a look at Psalm 51: this is a deeper confession of David’s sin
How have you been like David the forgiven?
The fact is that we have all done horrible things and we try to put on the false face to hide the truth from other people. Here are a few truths about secrets:
- Secrets birth other secrets.
- Secrets make us lonely.
- Secrets disconnect us from other people.
- Secrets are not secrets from God, while they do strain our relationship with him.
- Secrets prevent us from being fully alive in Christ.
- Secrets lose their power when they are shared.
Assignment and Challenge:
- What is there about your personality that not many people know?
- What is something you have overcome that not many people know?
- What is something with which you struggle that not many people know?
What Does the Bible Say About Keeping Secrets?
A secret can be difficult to keep and equally difficult to share, yet life seems to run on secrets, from concealing birthday presents, to obscuring a difficult past, to protecting the whereabouts of an important political figure. The Bible teaches, indirectly, that secrets can be either good or bad, but it does not clearly delineate the right and wrong uses of secrets.
Throughout the history of Israel, political and military secrets are mentioned without pronouncing any moral judgments for or against them (e.g., 2 Samuel 15:35-36). However, in the story of Samson and Delilah (Judges 16:4-22), Samson reveals the source of his strength, an act which, based on the aftermath of his admission, was awfully stupid. It was a secret he should have kept.
Esther’s story provides a positive example of someone who kept a secret. Her decision to hide her nationality (Esther 2:20) became an integral part of God’s plan to save His people (Esther 4:13; 7:3-6). The same story also supports the morality of revealing a secret that, if kept hidden, would cause great wrong or serious harm (Esther 2:21-23).
Proverbs, the central book among the “wisdom literature” of the Bible, is the most explicit about secrets. Chapter 11 says that “a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret” (Proverbs 11:12-13). So, keeping a secret can be noble, but secrets kept for the wrong reason earn a person the title of “wicked,” for “a wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice” (Proverbs 17:23), and “whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence” (Psalm 101:5).
One type of secret is always wrong: trying to hide sin. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). When it comes to our sin, God wants full disclosure, and He grants full forgiveness (Isaiah 1:18).
Of course, there’s no use trying to hide our sin from God. Nothing can be kept from Him. He is “the God of gods . . . and a revealer of secrets” (Daniel 2:47). Even our “secret sins” are exposed in His light (Psalm 90:8). “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17).
God Himself keeps some things—likely many things—hidden from us: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Jesus asked several people to keep miracles He had done secret. For example, Jesus healed two blind men and told them to “see that no one knows about this” (Matthew 9:30). When Job realized the immensity of God’s knowledge, he spoke of “things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3).
We can conclude that God does not consider keeping a secret to be sinful in and of itself. There are some things that people should know and some things they should not. God’s concern is how secrets are used, whether to protect or to hurt.