On an otherwise innocent Sunday afternoon, an otherwise innocent four-year-old boy climbed to the top of a mountain and chucked a stolen necklace as far as he could. That morning, I came across the necklace in my Sunday School class at our North Hollywood church where my dad happened to be the new pastor. I loved seashells, and the necklace had no shortage of them. When it was time to eat animal crackers and juice, I must’ve put it in my pocket. You know, so some other heathen kid who didn’t appreciate seashells wouldn’t try to play with it. Fast forward, and I’m at home later that day. I reached into my pocket and my little fingers discovered my inadvertent plunder. My post-toddler logic decided that chucking it off the hill was the best way to avoid being found out.
A few days later, I couldn’t handle the prospect of a perfectly good necklace wasting away on our suburban hillside. So, I talked my older brother into a “treasure hunt.” With what he thought was great luck, we stumbled upon the necklace. At which point I sinisterly suggested he give it to our mother as a gift. True story.
So why didn’t I just tell my Dad and ask him to bring it back to work the next morning? He would’ve graciously told me it was no big deal and reminded me I was no thief. Yet, I chose the other side of the law. Why? Five letters: shame. Shame’s purpose is to convince us we’re too far-gone. It wants us to believe our secret is so dark and ugly that we should never tell anyone.
As you read my story, I’m sure you were like, “Come on, kid. Just tell your Dad!” Your story is not much different from mine. Come on, child of God. Just tell your heavenly Father! King David modeled for us how to do just that. In Psalm 139 NLT, David prays, “Search me, O God, and know my heart …” Before we ask God to search us, He already knows everything. So why do we ask? Fourteen letters: to destroy shame. When God finds our junk, He brings it to the light, and in the light, shame’s power goes dark.
Twenty-five years later and I’m still learning this lesson. Will you join me to do three things this week? First, read the Dangerous Prayers Bible Plan. Second, ask God to search your heart. Third, tell the world about something sneaky you did as a kid!