I was reclining in a chair, watching as my children played “Red Light, Green Light.”

Sometimes I sit and watch them play and just marvel at how awesome it is to have such great kids who enjoy playing together. Today was not that day. 

Today I was focused on something else.  See, the person who won the round of “Red Light, Green Light” got to call the next round. So obviously, all my children wanted to be the caller. Well, the caller was purposely trying to get them to mess up, so that they would have to go back to the start line… I noticed that often they would mess up by going when red light was called or running when yellow light was called.

But all my children would only admit they messed up if they knew they had been caught. One of my children gave a certain facial expression every time she knew that she messed up…But she only went back when someone called her out on it.

She only admitted to being wrong when she was caught.

 don't get caught

Ok, I can relate to that. Especially when I compare my life before I started walking with Christ to now.

Growing up I got this subtle message that it was ok to do “bad” things as long as you didn’t get caught.

Drinking- The legal age for drinking alcohol is 21. BUT if you are going to drink, don’t drink and drive.

Sex- Sex is meant for marriage. BUT if you are going to have sex, use protection. You don’t want an STD or unplanned pregnancy.

I know the adults in my life meant well. I know they were just being realistic about the culture I lived in. But I really felt like they were telling me, “Here’s what I am supposed to tell you… But if you are going to do it, don’t get caught.”

This concept flooded into so many areas in my life. The moral line became so blurred. I know I am not supposed to do this. But…as long as I don’t get caught, it’s ok.

It really piled up when I started giving myself permission to just tell a little lie. Then I would have to tell another lie to cover that one up. Then I would have to exaggerate a story and add details so people would believe me. I would get so caught up in defending my little lie with more lies, that soon I didn’t even really remember what happened. I would get so worried about getting caught, that I didn’t even know what the truth was. This is an exhausting way to live.

If you are only worried about getting caught, all you care about is not being found out.

I’m so glad the Holy Spirit came into my life and started showing me a better way. Not long after I met Jesus in my backyard, I learned a really important lesson. The reason you don’t do those bad things is not because of others, but because you want to grow in relationship with God.

For example, alcohol restrictions are in place to protect young people from the negative effects of drinking. God told us to obey the law of the land. Also, his word tells us not to get drunk on wine.  It never says don’t drink. You can do that. But responsibly and within the limits of the law. Make sure you are in control of your actions and emotions when you do. Those boundaries are there to help you and guide you.

The reason you shouldn’t have sex before marriage is so much more. God put a boundary on sex because sex was meant to be a good thing. It was meant to show a union between two married people and yoke them together. By choosing to wait until marriage, you are respecting God’s boundary. You are growing in relationship with the Father. And as you grow closer to God, you are preparing your heart for a marriage that will glorify God.

See, I missed all that, when I was focused on me. When I was focused on not getting caught, I had no clue that the first part of that message was about a relationship with Christ.  The adults in my life knew that the world would tell us otherwise, so they were trying to keep us safe.

Truthfully those truths were easy to see as they were spelled out to me. However, the ones I am still learning have a deep and meaningful impact on me.  For example, the Holy Spirit really got a hold of me when it came to lying and gossiping (as you can probably tell by the topics of most of my blogs.)

See prior to walking with Christ, I had a really bad problem with stretching the truth. I had a horrible issue with gossiping. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I just wanted people to see why I felt the way I did. So, I told the story with colorful glasses on. I left out parts that made me look bad. I added details to make the other person look like a monster. Before I knew it, the story I told only shared a thread of truth. I was not a good person before I meet Jesus.

But a lesson I have learned through this sanctification process is that the truth frees you. If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.

Tell the truth. The truth frees you. It frees you from the worry of being found out. It frees you from the tornado you create to cover up your “bad” actions.

When you walk the way God calls you to walk, you don’t have to put on a show, fake the funk, wear a mask, or pretend to be anything other than what you are. You don’t have to worry about being caught.

You are exactly who you are.  A flawed sinful human trying her best to be the woman God has called you to be.

So, if you are worried about getting caught, I challenge you to pray about that situation. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you, lead you, and help you overcome that area. It won’t be easy, but I promise it will be freeing.

You were not meant to carry the weight of your sin on your shoulders. Walk in peace. Go and sin no more.