The Incredibles Gospel Story – Secret ID’s

The Incredibles Gospel Story – Secret ID’s

Ever been a time in your life where you did something in secret?  You did what you did because you wanted no one to know.  You did what you did in secret because you were ashamed of what you were doing.  You were just hoping no one would find out because if he/she did, you knew the consequence of having your secret exposed.  Or maybe, you did what you did in secret because you didn’t want the honor and fame that would result if found out.  In either case, there have been times in your life, and in my life, where we have had to hide, good or bad parts of our identity for fear of the exposure it would bring.

Well that’s what the Super’s were dealing with in their everyday lives.  It’s pretty obvious that the Super’s needed their secret identities to keep them safe and out of the public’s eye.  They needed their secret identities to relieve some of the pressure of trying to be super all of the time.

The public only knew them as Super Heroes.  But when out of costume, they were just another person walking the street or a colleague at work.  They didn’t want their identities to be revealed.

Well, that’s true of all of us.  There are some things in our lives that we have no problem sharing with others.  Usually, these are the good, positive things that happen in our lives.

But we all have secrets.  Secrets we want no one to discover:  secrets that, if exposed, will reveal our true identities.

Just like Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone didn’t want their identities to be exposed for good reasons, there are some things, some secrets that people never need to know about you.  They don’t need to know every thought that passes through your mind, good or bad.  They don’t need to know about every mistake that you have made or that you will make.  But what they need to know is the Super Hero in you.  

And though we can’t leap buildings with a single bound, nor run as fast as a speeding bullet, we can all have the one characteristic that God looks for in a super hero.  And this characteristic is threefold: ADMIT, REPENT, & SHARE.

God is looking for us to humbly admit our sins, repent and walk away from them, and then share our story when it can help someone else overcome the same temptation or struggle we have faced.

2 Corinthians 4: 1-2a states, “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.”

The apostle Paul was dealing with false teachers and grumblings that were creeping into the church in Corinth.  So what we just read was part of his correction to the church.  He wanted them to see that his life and his words were nothing but the truth.   He wanted them to see that what he had taught them was the pathway they should follow.  And this passage is still relevant to you and me today.

If we desire to be a super hero, a man or woman after God’s heart, we must renounce (not be part of) the secret and shameful ways of this world, we must tell the truth, and we must not falsify the word of God.

Mr. Incredible asked the rhetorical question in his interview, “Who wants the pressure of being super all of the time?”  And that’s very profound – one that we honestly need to ask ourselves.

Persons who hide their secrets from others find themselves under a lot of pressure to keep these secrets hidden.  They also find themselves trying to be “super” all of the time.  Pretending was fun when we were kids because it was pretend.  But as adults, when it’s reality, it catches up with us sooner or later.  And when it does, we usually crack.

The late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey told a story about some airline baggage handlers who retrieved an animal carrier from the luggage bay of an airliner.  As they removed the carrier, they made a gruesome discovery – the dog inside was dead.  The baggage handlers panicked.  They thought there might be lawsuits, and they might even lose their jobs.

They told the woman passenger that her dog had been sent to another destination by mistake.  It was not at all uncommon for baggage to be sent to the wrong city.  They promised her they would find her dog and have it delivered to her.  With that assurance, the woman went home.

The baggage handlers then buried the woman’s pet.  Afterward they set out to find another dog to replace the animal that had died.  Finally, they found a dog that was a dead ringer for this woman’s pet.  They put the substitute dog in the animal carrier and sent it to the woman’s address.  

The woman took one look at the dog and exclaimed, “That’s not my dog!”  “My dog is dead” she told them.  “I was bringing it home for burial.”

Their rationale and judgment were spoiled because of their assumption that the dog had died under their watch.  Honestly, do you think they could have gotten away with this plot of switching dogs?  After all, if the owner didn’t know that the dog was dead, she would have realized something was wrong when the dog wouldn’t come when its name was called.

Secrets always have a way of being exposed.  I can only imagine these baggage handlers trying to talk their way out of this one.  They had one option at this point – to come clean – which is what they should have done in the first place.

You know, sometimes our secret identities are found out immediately, and sometimes they can be kept secret from others for a lifetime.  In fact I read a headline one time on the internet that said, The Best Way to Lie and Not Get Caught.  (Please don’t go look that one up).  But even though we may be able to keep our secret identities from other human beings, we can never keep them from God.

Psalm 44: 20-21 says, “If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since He knows the secrets of the heart?”

Jeremiah 23: 24 states, “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord.

Can we keep our secrets hidden?  No, because God knows everything about me.

Did King David think that no one would ever find out that he had Uriah killed in battle so that no one would suspect that he had an affair with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba?  Did the prophet Jonah think that he would escape from God’s calling to preach to the ruthless Ninevites by jumping on a ship heading in the other direction?  Did the prophet Elijah think he could hide in a cave feeling sorry for himself because he felt he was the only righteous one left after he had just defeated the gods of Baal in a duel of the gods?

And the answer is yes.  They thought they could get away with it.  But in each example, God revealed their secrets.

God used the prophet Nathan to tell a story about a king taking and slaughtering a poor man’s only lamb to help David see that his secret was known.  God used a horrific storm to reveal that Jonah was the one causing it and needed to be cast into the sea for the storm to calm.  And God used a gentle whisper rather than powerful winds, an earthquake, and a fire to help Elijah see that he was called by God and that there was still 7000 righteous living in Israel.

You know, the Super Heroes may be able to keep their secret identities.  The public may think they know their identities, but there is always some question.  But with God, there is no question.  He knows exactly who they are, and He knows exactly who we are.

Psalm 90: 8 says, “You (God) have set our iniquities (mistakes) before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”

There is no way for us to escape.  God knows our thoughts and our motives.  He knows if they are pure or dishonest.  Most of all, He knows if we have truly repented of our sins.

We can fool others into believing that we’re earthly super heroes.  We can also fool ourselves into believing that the sinful things we are doing are okay.  But we can never fool God.  And He is the one who counts.

Secret Identities – don’t be fooled!  They’re not really secret.

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