A blog by Josh Humbert
There was a time when I spent 20 minutes crawling on my stomach for the chance to scare one of my best friends. And yes, it’s possible (ahem, likely) that I enjoyed that process a little too much. I confess: I take great joy in hiding….until it’s that perfect time to scare someone. There’s just something about that hiding, that waiting, that anticipation….
“I’m nothing more than a man lost, dead in my sin,
So here I am alive in Your hands”
–Andy Mineo, Superhuman
Is there a wrong way to hide? Yes. As a Christian, there is a damaging, hurtful way to hide. When sin is committed, when a wrong is done….the absolute worst thing to is to try and hide it.
King David commits adultery with the wife of one of his best soldiers and gets her pregnant. He does everything he can to cover up his sin. Nothing is spared in his efforts to hide the terrible evil he has done. Lives of great men, innocent men, are sacrificed. Lies are told at every turn. Elaborate schemes put in play. David is desperate, cunning, and resolute in hiding his great sins.
This pattern plays out everyday in every person who walks the earth. Have you not seen it explode just in the arena of sports these past years?
Lance Armstrong. Manti Teo. Tiger Woods. Any baseball star who could hit a homerun from the late 80’s, 90’s, or early 2000s?
Same pattern: misdeeds and then a pattern of misdirection. Cover it up. Deny. Lie. Accuse the accusers, or in some cases, even sue the accusers who told the truth. It’s all a hiding of wrongs.
This desire to hide the sin is in us all. Just like Adam and Eve in the garden running from God after the Fall, we are prone to cover ups as well. We don’t go the extent of King David, but the goal we have is the same: “Hide this. Keep the truth covered. Spin it. Everything’s Fine. No, it’s not what you think.”
“I’m just a product of grace that’s still in the process,
and I don’t gotta be great, because my God is”
–Andy Mineo, Superhuman
Why is the hiding so damaging? The Bible gives two strong answers.
First, it is damaging to your relationship to God. 1 John 1:8 says “If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” To deny or cover our sin is wicked self-deception and its a lie. It is a claim to perfection that no human can rightfully grasp. It’s a lie to a Holy God who sees and knows all. He isn’t fooled by our tomfoolery. It’s not like God will listen to our schemes, excuses, and cover-ups and be misled. He is God, He knows the TRUTH about us. To say we have no sin is damaging to our fellowship with Him.
Secondly, it is damaging even to our physical bodies. David, referring to his attempted cover-ups, says this in Psalm 32:
“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night, Your hand was heavy on me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.”
Can you hear the heaviness in these words? Can you feel the complete exhaustion of David as he writes? Don’t you know this to be true for yourself? Consistently covering your sin is painfully physically taxing. Your body wasn’t designed to hold on to wicked sin and keep it under wraps. To hide sin will waste you away.
In a real sense, it makes you LESS of who you are and who are you are born to be. Hidden sin, secret sin, cherished sin…it’s like a cancer eating away on your insides. It will waste you away.
Hidden sin will keep on destroying the good in your life and your walk with God if you keep it in the dark.
“My heart needs to see something greater than what I’m pursuing so,
is it true that You give rest to the weary? Can You accept and repair me?
Do You hear me? It’s so clear and now it’s painfully apparent
That I can’t have my sin and my Savior, they’re not for sharing.”
–Andy Mineo, Tug of War
Let’s discuss Christian rap for a second…….What? Why yes, I’m serious so wipe that smirk off your face. And no, I’m not making this up. It exists. And it’s worth a minute.
I will always be thankful for my dad for so many things. Let me tell you of one thing in particular. My dad would always bring my brother and I tapes of Christian music when we were kids (if you don’t know what a “tape” is, use your google-iphone-internets-machine and research it, young whippersnapper). And, I remember he even got us some Christian rap tapes when we were both pretty young, like 7 and 9 years old. Groups like S.F.C., Dynamic Twins, JC and the Boyz, D-Boy, etc. Stuff that I’m pretty sure mostly no one else has even heard of. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t like Christian rap was a genre that was exploding in pop culture in the early 90’s.
But I love that my dad did that for my brother and me. It may not have even been stuff HE enjoyed listening too, but he did it anyway. Jake and I would always listen closely so we could memorize the lyrics and (attempt to) keep up with the fast delivery. While other kids may have had vegetable cartoons telling them about God, we were exposed to a whole different art form.
(Unfortunately, somewhere in my parent’s closet, there exists an AWFUL, AWFUL video-tape of my brother, sister and me putting on a dance concert to these songs. Parents are particularly cruel to record these type of moments, don’t you know? How were my dance moves, you ask? Well, let’s just say…you ain’t messin’ with my dougie.)
(One other parenthesis…btw, I understand that labeling markets/genres “Christian” or “secular” is a whole other topic. Just bear with me.)
Now, many may doubt the quality or even the merit of a genre of music like Christian rap. Totally understandable. There is plenty of “Contemporary Christian” music that is not appealing to me on a theological level OR on an artistic/asthetic level. So if it’s not your thing, I get that. And I will say that as the 90’s wore on, the quality of Christian rap was evaporating quickly. As I finished 8th grade, Tupac’s “All Eyes On Me” came out and I, well….I pretty much went the wrong way in my choice of hip-hop for a while.
But there’s been a renaissance, a new beginning of hip-hop that explores and explains the Gospel. In later part of 2000-2010 decade, Lecrae showed up on the scene with guys like Trip Lee, Tedashi, KB, and many others to redeem a category of music/art that woefully needed it. They drew me back in.
(I’ll be writing more on this soon so stay tuned.)
Andy Mineo, another artist from the Reach label, just released his debut album in April and it had the most sales of any debut CR album. You can see it climb on the iTunes charts. It’s called “Heroes for Sale” and the main theme stands in stark contrast to the secular hip-hop message of bling/brag/baller-lifestyle. Andy’s theme is that he himself is flawed, he is NOT the hero….he’s just a sinner like us all. But he wants to point to the only real Superhero, Jesus Christ.
In essence, he isn’t trying to hide behind some persona as a musical artist. He isn’t hiding behind prideful boasts about his cash/cars/women/fame. He is being honest (from the opening song of the album, no less) about his sin and his real need for the grace of Jesus Christ to save him and transform him. There is NO hiding with Andy and the album explores this painful but good theme throughout many songs.
There’s a depth and realness to the album that the listener can connect with from beginning to end. His authenticity blended with solid production and top-notch lyrics/delivery make Heroes for Sale a fantastic album and marks another growth moment for the revolution of hip-hop.
“I’m no hero, there’s only One….
And He’s not for sale”
So, is there a good way to hide? Yes. As a Christian, there is, ironically, a perfect place to hide. And that is in Christ Jesus.
We do not hide our sin in the dark, for that is damaging and destroying. We confess our sin to Him so we can be forgiven, and so we can hide in HIS Righteousness.
Continuing David’s words from Psalm 32
“I acknowledged my sin to YOU,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, ‘I WILL confess my transgressions to the Lord’
and You forgave the guilt of my sin”
Is that not beautiful? Is that not freedom? Is that not faith?
That is the way out of darkness and into His marvelous light. Confession of sin and turning to the Lord.
And two verses later, David goes full-circle for us when he writes:
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”
YES!! That’s exactly right! You, Oh Lord, are my hiding place. You are the safe place, the good place, the RIGHT place to hide.
Paul writes to Christians in Colossians 3:
“Set your mind on things above, not on the earth, for you have died and your life is HIDDEN WITH CHRIST in God.”
YES!! That’s exactly right. Jesus, on the Cross, took ALL my sin upon Himself to pay the price and take away God’s righteous wrath. Jesus gave me HIS Righteousness instead. I’m HIDDEN with Him. God sees me as clean and pure. I’m hidden with Christ, the real Hero.
“I don’t see every step but the next is out of the dark
I’m the filthiest of them all, but I’m YOURS if You wash me!
From that sin, by the blood of that Cross! I’m Yours”
–Tug of War
When I hide sin, I deceive myself and damage my self.
When I confess and repent, I have fellowship with God and can freely hide in the righteousness of Christ.
That doesn’t make me weary or worn down. That doesn’t eat away at my body. In fact, do you know what hiding in Christ brings?
Rest and Rejoicing.
I cease striving, I cease “trying” to be perfect or earn God’s love through empty rule-keeping and religion. I rest in what Christ has already done. I rejoice in what He is doing to make me more like Him. I take off the hero-costume because it doesn’t fit me anyways. I can be me and find that He is setting me free.
That is how David ends Psalm 32, with a contented soul and much rejoicing. He did not hide his sin forever. He came to confess it and leave it behind. The result is restful rejoicing. After such a mess, David finds a gracious new beginning and rejoices.
The darkness is where sin grows. Hiding is how sin will disintegrate you. That is the wrong place to hide.
There is rest in honest confession and real repentance. There is rejoicing in the Gospel and grace of Jesus Christ.
the most beautiful pieces of art come from the ugliest situations”
I once spent 20 minutes crawling, staying low, and hidden so I could surprise a friend. I see now that when I hit my knees, remaining low and humble in confession before my King, I stay hidden as well. Hidden in Christ. Maybe His gracious covering of me is the best surprise of all.
As always, thanks for reading. Comments/messages/thoughts are always welcomed.
PS–here’s a taste from Andy’s album