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What are your secrets?

Police in England were shocked when Melody Casson, 67, confessed to killing her then 18-day old son, Wayne. Melody was 15 years old when she used a cushion to smother her son who wouldn’t stop crying. In 1963, she told police she accidentally killed Wayne by sleeping on him. The coroner ruled the infant’s death accidental.

But in February 2014, Casson told police what had actually happened decades earlier. She stated, ‘I can’t take no more of the pain.’ Casson told officers, she had felt guilty about this dark secret that had plagued her for 52 years.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, Casson said:

‘This happened when I was a schoolgirl. I’ve been living with this all my life. I knew it was coming. I can’t take no more of the pain.’

However, if a recent survey is right, all of us have secrets that we don’t want anyone to find out about. The survey was released to promote a new movie called “The Woman in Black: Angel of Death” that focuses on hidden secrets.

According to the survey, at least 60% have what could be classified a ‘dreaded’ secret.

This can include children from a previous relationship and in some instance earlier marriages that nobody knows about. Other big secrets listed were infidelity, drunk driving offenses and obviously criminal activity.

And for most people the secret is not recent, the average secret has hung over a person’s head for at least 15 years.

But perhaps the most interesting statistic is that 75% of the survey respondents said their secret still affects them today, even though it is often decades old. For 52 years, Melody Casson’s life in her own words was filled with ‘self-torment and self-loathing.’

Though not everyone has a “dreaded”secret, all of us have secrets that we want to keep hidden. Each of us average about two. This can include websites they have visited, debts and even fears.  Others can include secret crushes, tattoos or smoking.

Oddly one secret that showed up in the survey is fearing people will find out you are pretending to like someone.

So what fears drive a persons desire for secrecy?

The biggest concern is how their spouse would react to their secret though roughly 25% believe their partners would be supportive. Oddly the second biggest fear is that their mother would find out.

However, the primary reason they want it kept secret is embarrassment. In fact, this may have  been the driving force behind King David who not only committed adultery with a married woman — Bathsheba — but also impregnated her.

But it didn’t stop there. Since Bathsheba’s husband, who was a soldier in David’s army, had been away in battle during the critical months there was no way he could be the father. The secret sin would be exposed.

In the end, David arranged for his death on the battlefield. Everything went smoothly, until God sent the prophet Nathan to expose this sordid affair (2 Samuel 12:1-14).

Since he was king, David was above human punishment so the only thing he feared was a soiled reputation as David was the chosen and anointed of God. He was man after God’s own heart. But David was also a sinner, like the rest of us. Curiously, this wasn’t David’s only secret.

The Apostle James had an interesting discussion on what Christians should do with our secrets:

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. (James 5:16 NASV)

In this verse, James encourages believers to confess their sins or faults to one another. This does not result in forgiveness from God, but it breaks the power your secret sin has over you. James adds it is this confession that brings healing — sometimes more emotional than physical.

The Roman Catholic Church has used this verse to justify the confessional. The enduring quality of the confessional shows there is a benefit to people confessing their sin, however, where it horribly breaks down is when they assign a few ‘Hail Mary’s’ as penance. Only God can forgive with no works attached.

If you are plagued by a past secret, find someone you can confide in and break its hold on you.


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