Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stuffing, Covering and Hiding by Martin Wiles

But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord…your sin will find you out.
                  Numbers 32:2(NLT)

Aunt “T” was at it again. Stuffing, covering and hiding at the church social. To a young boy, her antics were intriguing. Entering the bread line, she would fill her plate and cover it with aluminum foil. When her prize was secured, she would hide it under the tables or nonchalantly deposit it in her car’s trunk. I suppose she thought no one noticed, but my cousin and I were always just around the corner laughing. Her sin found her out.

Moses told the two and a half tribes who wanted to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River the same thing. God agreed to their request with one condition. They had to help their comrades get settled in the Promised Land. Failure was sin.

I often use Aunt T’s methods in dealing with failures but my sin always comes out. I stuff by failing to admit to God I have failed. I’m like David who refused to admit his sin with another man’s wife. Or like Abraham who lied about his wife.

Sometimes I cover and hide. I rationalize that one little indulgence is permissible. Especially if it helps me get ahead or results in new friends. Or helps me deal with frustrations. It’s not really hurting anyone except me. I’ve discovered wrong gets righter the longer I do it.

But in the end, Moses was right. There’s never been a sin that won’t be discovered. When we stuff, cover and hide, we forget that God unstuffs, uncovers and unhides. Life lived in openness and obedience is healthier.

My Prayer: God, when I’m tempted to stuff, cover or hide my sin, let me remember Your eyes see all. Help me lean on you for strength to overcome life’s temptations.

Dr. Martin W. Wiles is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Harleyville, SC, author of two devotional books and former correspondent for the Baptist Courier. He and his wife Michelle have a devotional ministry called Morning Lite.

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