Exposed: reveal the true and typically objectionable nature of (someone or something).
Being exposed is an unspoken fear of so many today. Don't worry- we aren't calling the students or you to expose all of who you are. We don't really have to since before the Creator we are all exposed. Nothing is left hidden. The hope we have as believers in Christ allows us to affirm that reality without fear or shame knowing that we have been clothed in His righteousness alone. Something to celebrate!
But what we are talking about tonight is the lies that we tell ourselves. Specially, we are looking at three areas I believe directly effect our genuineness and authenticity before others and our confidence in our placement before God.
Lies that help us sin. Lies that help us hide. Lies that convince us we are stuck.
"Dishonesty is an integral part of our social world, influencing domains ranging from finance and politics to personal relationships. Anecdotally, digressions from a moral code are often described as a series of small breaches that grow over time....The findings uncover a biological mechanism that supports a 'slippery slope': what begins as small acts of dishonesty can escalate into larger transgressions." -Nature Neuroscience (2016)
Think about this study and its results. "Dishonesty is an integral part of our social world." "Small breaches that grow over time." This is such a good picture of what we are discussing tonight with the students. Unfortunately, dishonesty is not uncommon. It is woven into so many areas of life that it can become normal and easy. I believe that the students will find these three lies that we convince ourselves of overtime to be worth fighting with the truth.
"At least I am not doing what they are!"
"No one knows!"
"I can't stop! Im stuck!"
While its not the objective tonight specifically to discuss the plague of sexual sin that is sweeping through elementary, middle and high school and beyond, this will be my direction with you all today. Those three lies are very very common when it comes to hidden sexual sin. It is said that 71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents. Thats assuming they even have internet access. What they have heard at school can not be filtered by you and may not be fully disclosed either. Most sexual sin finds itself interwoven in lies told over and over. Just as the lies discussed in the study of the brain, as soon as small breakdowns in ones moral code begin the snow ball seems to just keep building. These experiences can be found in music, TV, social media, locker rooms, sports teams, neighbors house- nearly everywhere.
I probably seem to be ranting a little. Stay with me.
We can not hide from every type of worldly behavior. But we can expose it for what it is. We can not keep them from ever thinking about sex or hearing about sex. But we can expose the truth about sex and lust to them- the good and the bad. We can not be with them everywhere they go but we can expose the truth of God's presence with them everywhere they go. We will not always be their rescue but we can expose the freedom Christ has purchased for them and the way of escape that He has promised!
My heart aches even in my own life considering all the ways I have allowed dishonesty to have a place in my life. Lies I believed that allowed me to taste of sin, believe that no one knew and believe that there was no way of escape. Such lies are only in accordance with the father of lies himself.
I pray that you would consider ways to foster openness, honesty and intentionality when it comes to these areas with your student(s). If you are already doing that, press on! If not, know this can be an area of deep pain, confusion or shame whether they would be honest about that or not.
I love you each. I love your student(s). May lies be exchanged for truth tonight.
As we journey,
**Myself and a few others use a software called Covenant Eyes. I highly recommend this as it allows for use of the internet but provides accountability and filtering. They have a lot of good resources and I have signed many people up for this service. If you have any questions- I'd be happy to answer. http://www.covenanteyes.com/ **