Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” (Ex. 2:14)

How often do we judge people by their actions while judging ourselves by our best intentions? Board members and church leaders around the country renounce racism with their mouths, but simultaneously use their votes, dollars, and influence to insulate themselves from those different from them. Churches say they exist to benefit their communities, but leaders worry more about church growth than selflessly loving their neighbors.

Many people’s careers, life rhythms, and relationships have collapsed into the gap between what’s public and what’s true. Over the past years, a staggering number of people have come forward through the #MeToo movement to share stories of sexual harassment perpetrated by those close to them. Some of these people were coworkers or supposed “friends,” some were celebrities, and some were pastors. Our churches can fall into the sinkhole of a person’s (or people’s) lack of integrity, too.

Our rebukes are credentialed only by the character behind them. Moses was far from the last person to admonish someone publicly for what he did when nobody watched. Like Moses, the strength of our witness is determined by the secrets we keep in the dark. We have to close the gap between what’s public and what’s true, or the gap will swallow us whole. Only what we bring into the light will save us and set us free.

Identify one practice that closes the gap between your public and inner life.

Ethan Linder is the college, young adult, and connections pastor at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, where he resides with his wife and son. Ethan enjoys running, reading, and roasting coffee.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.