Nothing Kept Secret – Essay Example
The paper "Nothing Kept Secret" is an exceptional example of an essay on religion and theology.
There are things we want everyone to know, and things we want to keep secret. We all want to be known for the good things we do. We all boast to be the class valedictorian, the millionaire philanthropist, the scientist who discovers a cure to a dreaded disease, the rock star, the football hero, the beauty queen. We strive to excel, because we want the fame that goes with it. In some measure we all want to be praised.
On the other hand, there are things that we would rather keep hidden in our closets. We all conceal things that we consider embarrassing or shameful, such as the game lost by a huge margin, or the exam miserably failed, or that first awkward date you would give your right hand to forget. We do not want to appear at fault because we feel embarrassed and ashamed.
Someone said shame and embarrassment are inventions of the adult mind. Such feelings do not exist among children. When I was very young, I basked in the glow of my parents love. I played and cavorted without considering first what they thought of my antics. Maybe it is because I knew that they looked at me with the eyes of complete and total understanding. I felt that, when reprimanded, as long as I responded with a truly contrite heart, their unconditional love will forgive my most outrageous mischief.
But as I grew older, I learned to act according to what was expected of me by my peers, my “gang”. It became important for me to be counted “in” by living up to their expectations, sometimes at the expense of my own ideas and dreams. I learned to conform. Society‘s reality became my reality, despite what I otherwise know to be true. Hang my principles; I wanted to be seen as just like everybody else. The only appearance counts.
Sin is like shame and embarrassment; only those who can tell right from wrong can sin, something little children cannot do. One commits sin when he knows something is against truth and good, but does it anyway. Sins are offenses against good and against God. But because we have grown and matured not only in physical age but also in worldly sophistication, we have pushed God back to some dim corner of our consciousness. What has become important is how we are seen by society; we have forgotten that while society sees only what is revealed, God sees even what is kept hidden.
Tartuffe, in the play, lusts after Elmire who is married to another man. Hoping to carry on an affair with her, he offers to keep their illicit love a secret. In his mind, as long as their sinful meetings are kept secret, then there is no sin because they are able to escape public condemnation. There are no consequences.
But the Bible says this is not so. Genesis shows how an all-knowing God sees "the wickedness in men’s hearts", where all things are hidden, and punishes it. Numbers say that sins against Yahweh will surely follow the sinner no matter where he goes or how he tries to escape them. And Luke states clearly that nothing hidden can stay hidden, and all things, though kept secret, shall be exposed.
Man’s knowledge may be limited; we cannot see what is in men's hearts, let alone everything he does. But God is all-knowing, and all just. Even if a man sins in his heart, God knows. And while He is also all merciful, His mercy is showered on those who acknowledge and confess their sins, not on those who conceal them. Refusing to acknowledge his sins and thinking he can escape its consequence is an act of arrogant defiance of the Gods truth. Man sins in his heart, whether he acknowledges it or not.
If only we could always be like little children, willing to openly acknowledge our shortcomings before our Father, Who will always love and understand….