Do you have a secret? If so, you join more than 95% of people who do.
Most of us keep one fact or piece of information about ourselves from others. One reason for this is that secrets often involve shame. For example, when a secret involves infidelity, a teen pregnancy, an addiction or maybe a financial problem, we don’t like to admit to our wrongdoings and may also want to protect someone.
The problem with keeping a secret is that the one who keeps it is often stressed by it. And that stress does a number on the body.
Secrets also block your ability to build true intimacy. THey clutter your psychological landscape and interfere with building trust and intimacy in relationships.
So when you tell your secret, what is the best approach?
Even though it might be easier to hint at a problem or be indirect, don’t go the indirect route. Don’t tell a third party or create a hypothetical case.
Instead, stay calm. Begin by telling the person why you need to talk about this. Explain your motivation. Hopefully, it relates to building a relationship based on honesty. For example, “I don’t want you to find out this from someone else,” or “If I don’t tell you now, you might be more hurt later.”
Then, be direct. If the secret involves sin, wrongdoing, or bad judgment, confess and ask for forgiveness. Talk about your plan to repair the problem and offer solutions. If the secret is really difficult, you may want to go to a therapist and work through it with a third party.
Shame is not useful and keeps us stuck.
God doesn’t shame you. He wants you to feel conviction for sin, but not live in shame. If confession and repentance are needed, do both, but remember, Christ died to take away your shame. Nothing you have done will cause God to reject or abandon you. He loves you unconditionally and removes your sin once confessed. Shame is not on you, so don’t buy the lie! Let it go!