The Final Unmasking

For there is nothing covered, that not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.


— Matthew 10:26; Luke 12:2

You may ask, “Will all my weaknesses, my evil habits, all my pettinesses and wrong thoughts which I cannot help—will all be set out before the universe?” Yes, if they so prevail as to constitute your character; that is, if they are you. But if you have come out of the darkness, if you are fighting it, if you are honestly trying to walk in the light, you may hope in God your father that what he has cured, what he is curing, what he has forgiven, will be heard of no more, not now being a constituent part of you. Or if indeed some of your evil things must yet be seen, the truth of them will be seen—that they are things you are at strife with, not things you are cherishing. God will be fair to you—so fair!—fair with the fairness of a father loving his own, who will have you clean, who will neither spare you any needful shame, nor leave you exposed to any that is not needful. The thing we have risen above is dead and forgotten, or if remembered, there is God to comfort us. It will not hurt us so long as we do not try to hide things, so long as we are ready to bow our heads in hearty shame where it is fit we should be ashamed. For to be ashamed is a holy and blessed thing. Shame is a thing to shame only those who want to appear, not those who want to be. In the name of God let us henceforth have nothing to be ashamed of, and be ready to meet any shame on its way to meet us. For to be humbly ashamed is to be plunged in the cleansing bath of the truth.

Commentary

by Earle Canty

In this text, MacDonald addresses what could be a concern for some – their struggles with sin will be manifest for all to see.  He eloquently teaches that we should not fear that this will happen.  God is not vindictive; far from it.  He has done all that His nature of holiness, righteousness, and justice allow Him to do.  God knows that we are hopelessly incapable of fully eradicating sin from our thoughts and actions.  Christ’s death, in obedience to the Father for the propitiation for our sins, was the Father’s way to address the problem of sin while remaining true to His nature.  {2 Corinthians 5:21}  What he asks of those who profess Christ as Lord and Savior is that they strive to live in accordance with His will, and His will is that they strive to abandon sin.  “God will be fair to you – so fair! – fair with the fairness of a father losing his own, who will have you clean, who will neither spare you any needful shame, nor leave you exposed to any that is not needful.”

The Father expects us to give an honest effort at dealing with the sin in our life.  We are to diligently listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit when it tells us that we are doing wrong.  {John 14:16-17, 26}  I believe that MacDonald’s view that God will not reveal sins for which we are trying very hard to eliminate is correct and consistent with the Father’s nature.  But where we fail to try, or fail to make an honest effort, those sins will be revealed to shame us into abandoning those sins.  Shame has become a dirty word in the culture in which we live, much to the detriment of the culture.  Shame is, indeed, a very good thing when it causes us to admit that we are doing wrong, turn from it, and battle when we are tempted to engage in it again.  As MacDonald states, “For to be humbly ashamed is to be plunged in the cleansing bath of truth.”

Please enjoy the hymn “Even When He is Silent” sung by the St. Oalf Choir.  The text was found written on a wall at a concentration camp after World War 2.  The composer Kim Andre Arnesen read it as a Credo; even if everything is dark and difficult in life, and you might wonder where God is, or if He is there at all. It's about keeping your faith in God, love and hope.