“You can’t hide behind a religious mask…sooner or later the mask will slip.” Lk 12:2 TM

Inspirational speaker and author Julie Ann Barnhill writes: “I tend to be a stealthy sinner—a cloistered screw-up. Most of my life I’ve managed to fly under the radar…to keep 99.9 percent of such things hidden. As someone who attended church and appeared to manage a happy family, I avoided glaring attention to the shadow-side of my life—but at great cost. Lying about my spending led to financial problems in my marriage. Covetousness robbed me of friendships and contentment. The teenage anger that sent me reeling in fits of self-mutilation, exploded years later in outbursts of abusive anger towards my children. And when alcohol beckoned during periods of loneliness and depression, I heeded its call. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘So, you’ve told us a few secrets from your life—they don’t compare to mine.’ Seeing who has the most horrifying secret isn’t the point; we need to embrace the truth that we aren’t alone in our secret places…Confession for confession’s sake easily turns into tabloid moments like daytime talk shows. It’s not enough to spill the beans. Genuine confession leads to radical forgiveness that’s only available through Christ. It covers whatever we’ve done, no matter how bad it is. Jesus knows our secrets and they can never stop Him from loving us. They can, however, create a barrier between us and the shame-free life He desires for us. We confess our sins so we can find redemption, rescue, and eternal life. We share our secret places with trusted friends so we might know the reality of divine healing through flesh-and-blood relationships with those we love.”