We all get them, sometimes monthly and sometimes annually, but no one likes to receive them! They typically come in the mail, in plain white, letter-sized envelopes, with a clear widow on the front that displays our name and address. I am talking about “due bills.”
The due bill is a printed statement that documents and details an amount owed by a buyer to a seller for merchandise received or services rendered. It includes a stated timeframe, which obligates the buyer to send a check, or other form of payment, to fully satisfy the balance owed, or some acceptable portion of it, by a certain date. Failure to pay a due bill, for whatever reason, will have consequences in the form of the repossession of goods, a lawsuit (resulting in greater financial liability), garnishment of wages, bankruptcy, or even imprisonment. I have personally never put this to the test. I have disputed/refused payment on a few rare occasions. Unfortunately, this refusal to pay has usually not usually resulted in my satisfaction. Thus, I have often wound up paying to either protect my witness as a Christian or my credit rating!
Recently, I have been reading about the due bill that has come in for Mr. Bill Cosby. His name and reputation have been universally vilified in recent weeks as details have surfaced about his sexual victimization of about 50 women. Cosby, once called “America’s favorite dad” has been exposed by his own confession in a 2005 deposition for drugging and assaulting multiple victims. Even the President of the United States took time in a press conference about an unrelated national security issue, to indict Cosby’s character. The due bill for his past admitted immoral and criminal behavior has arrived. Let it be a lesson to thinking people. Scripture speaks to the fact that secrets have a way of becoming headlines. It’s just true, the things done in secret will be shouted from the housetops.
Number 32:23 says, “you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”
Luke 8:17, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
Sobering passages but so important for us as spiritual leaders to remember. As we live each day and make decisions that will be the rewards we will receive or the consequences we will face in the future. James 3:1 reminds us, “we who (preach and) teach will be judged more strictly.” It has been said that we all face three judgments: the judgment of God, the judgment of others and our judgment of ourselves. This passage is a reference to the judgment of others who expect us to personify, to embody the truth that we (preach and) teach. Let’s not disappoint or disillusion them by living in such a way to invite unnecessary due bills.
Pray with me. Father God, we know that everything is open, all things are known and laid bare before your eyes. We humbly promise to confess and forsake our secret sin to receive your forgiveness and live in your grace day by day. In the name of the One who makes this possible by His death and resurrection. Jesus, thank you for paying our sin debt in full on the cross. Amen.