Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Box of Secrets - The Example of Jesus

If you remember from the previous post, Dallas’s box of secrets stands for things he has done that he doesn’t want others to know about, or it could represent things others have done to him that he prefers to hide from the world. Unfortunately, the longer he carries the secrets, the heavier they get.

The point of this series isn’t so much to encourage people to share their boxes of secrets as it is to help us as members of the church to seriously consider how we react to people we meet who for one reason or other allow us a glimpse into their boxes.

Jesus Meets a Woman With a Box

Image found here
Jesus had an encounter with a woman whose box of secrets had spilled out into the street. We read her story in John 8:3-11. This woman had been caught in the act of adultery. In the culture of the time, the penalty for this sin was death by stoning. The teachers of the law and religious leaders brought her and their accusations to Jesus in an effort to trap him.

Jesus told them that whoever had never sinned could be the first to throw a stone at her. Then he calmly bent down to write in the dust on the ground, leaving them to examine their own hearts.

One by one, the accusers disappeared. A lot could be said about their motivation...and their departure from the scene, but I’m not so concerned with them right now. I want to focus on Jesus’s response to the woman.

When all the religious leaders had gone, Jesus looked up at the woman and asked, “Where is everyone? Isn’t there anyone left to accuse you?”

“No one, sir,” the woman answered, not daring to look at the one man who could claim the right to throw the first stone.

With deep compassion, Jesus answered, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now, and leave your life of sin.”

Suddenly, the woman had a world of hope opened up to her. With those two sentences, Jesus set her free.

Jesus sets an example for us to follow as our lives touch the lives of others with their boxes of secrets. 

Time for Reflection
  •  Take a moment to consider how Jesus responded to the woman and her box of secrets. 
  • Consider how you tend to respond to the boxes of secrets of other people in your life. How does your response match up with the response of Jesus?
In the next post, we will see what happens when a man named Chris meets Dallas in the hallway at church and gets a peek into the secrets contained in Dallas’s box. 


  1. I only wish the church, like Jesus, was able to challenge (and help) people of their sexual issues. The church doesn't talk about sex/adultery, which causes guilt, and leads to one of the largest reasons that people end up leaving the church (guilt/gossip about sex).

    1. I agree. The church does need to be better about dealing with this. True, the pastor/elders/leaders may be the ones who need to work directly with the person/people involved to bring them to restoration. But the regular people, who don't have leadership positions, can get better about responding in a Christ-like way rather than reverting to gossip.

      I do hope, though, that in this series, we can broaden our thinking about what a "box of secrets" might contain. There are a whole lot of things that could be in that "box". Sexual sin may be a big one, but what about depression, compulsive behaviors, addictions of various kinds, out-of-control thought life, procrastination, eating disorders? The list could go on and on.

      Thanks so much for your comment.


Any thoughts on this post? I would love to hear from you.

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