Once there was a girl who was very good at hiding.
She loved to play hide-and-go-seek when she was younger, always ready to crouch under the table or peek out from behind curtains. But as the years passed, she became an expert on hiding something else. Something far more valuable.
She hid her heart.
Every joy, every fear, every thought was hidden in a locked closet — and nobody got to peek inside that closet. Not even God.
She thought she was protecting herself — nobody could laugh at her ridiculous ideas because she never shared them; nobody could take advantage of her because they didn’t know her weaknesses. But she blocked out other things too. Things much more important.
She blocked out love. And guidance. And God.
That girl was me. I had become an expert on heart-hiding. By God’s grace, I’m now getting better at opening my heart to my family, my friends, and God. But I lost valuable years of spiritual growth by locking that closet. Hiding your heart is dangerous; here’s why:
1. Hiding Your Heart Rejects Fellowship and Guidance
Almost at the very beginning of the Bible, God said, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). We were created as social beings — this is why God made a helper suitable for Adam, and this is also why the apostle Paul instructed the early church to devote themselves to meeting together (Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 10:25).
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Friends, God gave us family for a reason. God gave us the church for a reason — in His great wisdom, He knew we would need them.
When we hide our hearts, we are not protecting ourselves. We are locking ourselves in a cage, and shutting out help. If your parents are committed Christians, they only want the best for you. Your pastor only wants the best for you. God only wants the best for you.
2. Hiding Your Heart Hurts Relationships
The greatest friends are often those that know us really well. Not the people we’ve known longest or even our perfect kindred spirit. What makes a friend great is that they know our strengths and faults, and they walk through life with us.
But if we keep all the secrets tied up in a corner of our heart, our relationships will grow meaningless and stale, as they will be founded only on common interests or the fact that we’ve known somebody for years.
I’m not saying we have to pour out our deepest thoughts to a casual acquaintance, but our relationships will only flourish when we open up to our parents and open up to God.
3. Hiding Your Heart Stifles Love
It’s hard for others to love us when we hide our hearts. But it’s also hard for us to love others — we get so focused on our own heart, locked up in its own little prison, that the two greatest commandments (love God, and love others, Matthew 22) are swept aside.
Hiding our hearts makes it so much harder to be filled with God’s love — when we freeze our hearts to stop a secret from escaping, we create a barrier that stops God’s love shining through us.
If we have no love, we are nothing, we gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2-3). Hiding our hearts just puts up a wall that hinders us from effectively serving our Lord. Despite all the voices in our heads that say we need that wall, it is only harmful.
I still find it hard to let my heart out of its cage and into the sunshine. We desperately need guidance and relationships, and Jesus calls us to love one another — but we block it all out if we hide our hearts from the people in our life who only want the best for us.
Of course, there are many things that are only between us individually and God. Ultimately we are accountable to God, and ultimately we are His alone. There is a limit to how deep we can go with others.
But in reality, the only thing hiding your heart is a veil of fear — God can easily overcome that.
What are you waiting for? Let Him tear it down.
Dang. This was good, thank you!
Timely and poignant. Thank you for this beautiful piece!
Good points, Naomi! Many struggle with being genuine (including me), but it’s important to try to be honest with others. 🙂
Splendid id Naomi thanks
Such a powerful article Naomi! Thank you
Thank you Thank you. Thank you. This was much needed! God bless you sister!
Thank you so much for this! I am also an expert heart hider and your words have inspired me to try and break free of the habit. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for this beautiful and much-needed article, Naomi! You have a gift with words. 🙂 Blessings!
Thanks for your encouragement!
Thank you so much for this post! It’s exactly what I needed to hear right now. I have to admit, I’m an expert at heart hiding, but by God’s grace I am getting better at telling others about what lies in my heart.
oh my word… Well I just got shot square in the chest… I am an expert at hiding too but I also am an expert at pretending. Like having a mask for everyone you know and never letting them see who you really are….Each mask still has the love for art, same music, same sci-fi stuff, and same jokes but the stuff beneath is hidden… Wow thanks for writing this …
Exactly – a different mask for everyone. I find myself doing that even within my family.
What a great post! I’ve been really convicted by this. It’s beautifully written and really gets to the heart of why our relationships sometimes struggle. Thanks for writing!