While America is angry and embarrassed, the rest of the world is just too glad it isn’t their diplomatic communication hanging up on the washing lines of world media. And I’m very grateful that I’m far too unimportant to have my inmost thoughts, first impressions, and dubious actions, splashed around the world. Imagine having all one’s thoughts visible for everyone to see.
Hang on. What was that? What did Matthew say?
“You can be sure that on the Judgment Day you will have to give account of every useless word you have ever spoken.” (Matthew 12:36)
“Final judgment must wait until the Lord comes; he will bring to light the dark secrets and expose the hidden purposes of people’s minds. And then all will receive from God the praise they deserve.” (1 Corinthians 4:5),
“For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him. We will each receive what we deserve, according to everything we have done, good or bad, in our bodily life.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Some think of the Last Judgement as an enormous court case, with every single person in the dock and actual books open, containing our every thought, word, and deed—a celestial WikiLeaks. Others think of it less literally. But, whether at the end of time or right now in the present, God is the silent watcher over all we do, the confidant of all our thoughts and motives.
But if fear of the Last Judgement is what keeps us honest, we are poor indeed. We will tend towards dishonest niceties instead of honest candour. We will do as the Pharisee’s did, polish the outside of the filthy cup and fail to deal with the horror within.
The Psalms suggest a way. Their candour is directed towards God. God is the only one who can take our fears and foolishness, our hatred and prejudice—all those things that destroy us and our relationships—and transform them and us into treasures of his kingdom.
Throughout the Psalms we find depths of despair (and even, at times, raw hatred) along with exquisite praise to God, a God who receives it all in love and understanding with a desire to heal, to strengthen, and to make whole. Psalm 130 is a good example. In eight verses the Psalmist takes us swiftly through what was probably a long and difficult struggle, from despair, through confession, to hope and trust, and on to proclamation. In verse three he makes reference to God’s WikiLeaks: “If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned.” (This is far more serious than a modern diplomat asking if Julian Assange has a record of his transgressions!) His openness bears fruit. God is able to deal with the failures, the sins, the weaknesses, because they are on the table; nothing is hidden. God ensures that our worst thoughts and motives are examined in his love and grace, and forgiven at the Cross. He gives us a new perspective on ourselves, our friends and our enemies, on our work, and on God’s purposes for our future. It is in that openness and honesty that the healing work of the Spirit of God is done. He brings the Psalmist out of his despair over his own wickedness, to where he can proclaim God’s love and forgiveness to his people.
Don’t wait for your WikiLeak—celestial or otherwise. You can start with God today.