During one break in Jesus’ preaching to the people, He took his disciples aside and warned them about avoiding all hypocrisy in their lives and ministries, explaining that “There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.” (Luke 12:2) Every Christian, especially Church leaders, has been put on notice that hypocrisy will not be tolerated by God. A hypocrite’s true colors will eventually be revealed. But who is the one who will uncover that person’s secrets? I think most Christians believe it is God who will reveal all evil behavior performed under cover of darkness or behind closed doors?
But isn’t it the nature of God to deal directly with the sinner – through their conscience? Isn’t it God’s desire to convict the sinner of the need to repent and change, long before they destroy their reputation, their ministry and the ones whose lives they are touching? God has no desire to shine a light on anyone’s sins, and only does so to warn His children of impending harm. “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17) Most “born again” believers have secrets (what some of us prefer to call “youthful indiscretions”) that we’re grateful God mercifully has allowed to remain hidden, which were a part of a past life that we left behind to follow Christ.
It’s in God’s nature to give second, third, fourth and chances innumerable to correct our ways, and He always stands ready to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) His mercy and patience is so great he will put up with such behavior much longer than we would ever put up with another that we observed doing the same. But whether or not we are found out, His mercy and patience neither removes us from the responsibility to reconcile with the one harmed and make recompense for the harm we have caused, nor from the legal and spiritual consequences of said behavior.
But if God is not the revealer of the evil behavior and thoughts and attitudes that we would rather remain “hidden,” who is? Some of course will blame the devil. He is after all called the prince of darkness for a reason. He prefers to operate in deception, with his true motives hidden – for if his plan to destroy God’s highest created beings were revealed, few would listen to him. While the devil is our condemner – he operates most often within our minds, to get us to follow a path that will lead to our own destruction.
I’m convinced that in most cases it is the unrepentant hypocrite who thinks he or she has covered over their evil behavior, who is the revealer of the darkness of their own heart. Evil behavior by its nature is addictive. If one does not actively seek to restrain an addiction and seek to control it (something only possible through repentance), it will always drive one to greater and greater risk-taking and aggressive thrill-seeking. This is true whether the addictive behavior is drugs, alcohol, porn, debauchery, gluttony, sadism, thievery, blasphemy, pride, gossiping, etc. As a result, it is only a matter of time before the one who refuses to repent and restrain his or her rebellious nature who ultimately shines the light on their true evil selves.