The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. 1 Timothy 5:24-25 (NIV).
There are sinful things you did years ago that only later became known. In verse 24, Paul (obviously) refers to sin, and his message that ‘the wheel in the sky keeps on turning’ is true; thank you Journey. God does indeed see what we do, and if we reject Him, eventually the sins of our past will come back to haunt us. Yet that need not always have negative connotations. Sometimes (actually, most times) God uses the outcomes of our sins to shape a better future.
I know a health information system called “XCelys.” It was called “Diamond” before that. Diamond, like a few other systems, is used by health insurance companies to process health information and medical claims. The last time I worked with it was 2005, when I unwillingly left a health plan in Montana (I was let go). After that, I learned other systems like MetaVance, Facets, QNXT, EasyCap, and a few others. Yet in 2016 I found myself working in a call center in Paris, Texas, far from any health insurance company, using Xcelys, the old Diamond, and teaching long-forgotten aspects of it to strangers so they could better perform their jobs.
The job from which I was let go had come to me as the outcome of a chain of events that started with things I did in New England. Families were devastated, friends alienated, and vocations affected just to name a few. I worked to put those sins in the past and “move on;” don’t we all? Yet Jesus had other plans in mind. Good things resulted, including where I am today. I have a second career (maybe third) working for a company called HealthEdge, and my family is thriving. For this I’m thankful. It’s all God.
We catch on the ‘hidden sins’ message in verse 24, yet it’s just as important to remember the verse 25 message that our Savior uses our hidden good works as well. Perhaps those good works came as a result of our sins. In my own life, God has woven my long road through the sins I embraced and on to better ways of living; I bet you could say something similar. No matter what we do, God sees it and is using it for His work and our benefit. Our lives journey along paths that are connected to both sin and good times, yet wherever we find ourselves, God has us there for His good purpose.
For further reading: 1 Timothy 3:8, 1 Timothy 6:1.
Lord Jesus, all praise to You for Your plans in our lives. I’m sorry for my past sins, thank You that You used them to do better, and ask You to guide me today.