Secrets secrete. This is a favorite phrase of a colleague of mine. He is convinced that over time, sometimes a very long period of time, the truths that are hidden will eventually be revealed. It’s an idea taken straight from the mouth of Jesus. “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17) Because we worship a God of grace and reconciliation Jesus’ statement about revelation is one of hope not of fear (fun fact: “Apocalypse” is the Greek word for unveiling or revelation). Ultimately, in scripture, it is the hidden things and the darkness between us that separates us from ourselves and from each other. It is the light that heals us and brings us together. I believe that being created in the image of God means that humanity has an affinity for the truth. At the core we want to be honest. We long to stand in the light with one another. We want to be honest with ourselves and with others. In 2014 Anita Kelly PhD shared her findings at the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C. that connected greater health and physical well-being with honesty. People who were honest were overall healthier.
What I find particularly fascinating about that revelatory verse from the Gospel of Luke is the next line. “Therefore, consider carefully how you listen.” (Luke 8:18). Everything will be revealed so be mindful of how you listen. One might expect the verse to say, “Everything will be revealed so be careful about how you talk or how you act.” This would be in line with the island admonition, “Don’t talk stink.” Yet again, revelation, honesty, isn’t about the fear of God it’s about faith in God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus promises to pour out upon us the “Spirit of Truth”. (John 16:12-14) The “Spirit of Truth” is another name for the Holy Spirit. Jesus teaches that this spirit will guide us into truth and will guide us into what he hears from Christ. If we believe that truth wants to be made known, that we want to live in honesty with ourselves and others, and that God is guiding us towards truth, then it makes sense that we should “consider carefully how we listen.” Let us listen for truths that our heart and souls want to make known. Let us listen so that we might understand the truths others want to share. And let us listen with great care so that we might honestly hear the Holy Spirit as she leads us into God’s great truth.