Something to think about
In the context of this chapter, Jesus is speaking in this verse about hypocrisy. We are hypocritical when we hold others to standards that we have no intention of meeting ourselves, or when we proclaim a conviction publicly and fail to live by it at times when we think we can get away with it.
It's painful to have our hypocrisy exposed and this verse might make us feel fearful. We all do things we know we shouldn't and perhaps we feel that we are showing a 'front' to the world that doesn't represent our true selves.
But it's important to consider this verse alongside the many other times that scripture speaks to us of God's care for us, God's desire for our good, and the importance of the truth for becoming who we were made to be as disciples: 'the truth will set you free' (John 8.32).
We should also note those places where scripture speaks positively of being 'hidden'; these are the times when our hiding is not from God or from the truth, but with God. God is our 'hiding place' (Psalm 32.7) and our 'life is hidden with Christ in God' (Colossians 3.3). When we feel like we want to hide away then, the question is how we choose to do that. Do we hide behind hypocrisy or pretence? Or do we seek out God, who through care and tenderness gives us a place to safely hide without needing the cover of secrecy and lies? If you feel like you need to put on a front because life is too overwhelming to be your true self, try taking that to God - it's not wrong to want the comfort of hiding away sometimes.
So it is that can think of this verse in Luke about secrets and lies uncovered not only in terms of the need to be more honest with others but also the need to be more honest with ourselves before God. If we are honest about what we have got wrong, what we are afraid of, why we feel the need to put on a show for others, we might find ourselves freed to live a fuller and more true existence. To do that we'll need to ask for help from God and from those around us.
Something to do
Have there been times recently when you have not lived up to your principles? Perhaps you have urged others to give up or change something in their lives without doing so yourself? Do you feel like you are pretending, rather than being your true self?
Take these times to God in prayer, knowing that you are loved and forgiven. Talk about this with supportive friends.
Something to pray
Jesus, I get things wrong.
I can't see the way ahead.
I feel like I don't know myself some days.
Help me to step forward confidently
Guided by you.
Help me to be truthful to others,
To speak truth to power,
And to be honest with myself.
Help me to confront my wrongdoing.
Release me, free me, to try again to serve you,
To love myself and my neighbour as myself.