In my years in college, much of my life was split into two compartments—who I was in ministry and who I was outside of it. Those two personas were two completely different people. I thought I was getting away with this, but it was just making me implode a little more and more every day.
Living a double life as a Christian is something we are often warned against in the Bible. John talks about how Jesus is grieved by lukewarm hearts that just can't seem to choose who they're really for—God or sin (Revelation 3:19).
There's only one antidote to a double life and that's a heart of repentant surrender. It's not easy, and the truth will hurt us more than we'd like. But it's a necessary pain that will lead us to greater relief and peace.
Often, we are afraid of the light because we don't like having our shame exposed. Unless we let the light of the gospel shine through our brokenness, these three dangers await us:
1. Growing Bondage
At the very heart of sin is spiritual bondage. The world would like you to think that living a double life of sin and "surface only" Christianity would be enough to get us off the hook. But actually this only hooks us into something much more deadly.
God's desire is for you to be set free from the consequence and current bondage of sin. John 8:32 says, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
In Jesus, we find freedom and as we walk in Him He eliminates the difference between the version of us in public and us in private by exposing our sin and then setting us free from it.
2. Loss of Hope
In God's presence alone do we find unending hope, but that hope can be choked off by the deception of a double life. We find the greatest hope only through Christ, which comes when we allow Him to enter our hearts to do the mighty work of transformation in us.
But when we shut God out, we shut out His eternal hope. But the good news is we can regain that hope by returning to God and coming humbly to Him in repentance.
3. Spiritual Death
Let's not sugar-coat this: The greatest danger that a double life leads to is ultimately spiritual death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death."
If we don't come to Christ in full surrender, chances are our souls won't end up in His eternal glory. That's not to say that we should pretend to be perfect starting today, but that we should humbly surrender all parts of our life to God and confess our sins so that the time of refreshing may come.