Read Romans 2:1-16.
“This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares� (v. 16).
The starting right halfback for the 1900 Tech football team was Walter Brown. The player had a secret, though; Walter Brown didn’t exist.
Hunter Carpenter was the greatest of Virginia Tech’s early football players, the one most responsible for the landmark 11-0 win over Virginia in 1905, Tech’s first-ever win in the series. He entered Tech in the fall of 1898 when he was only 15 years old, having never played football. He was immediately fascinated by it and answered Coach C.P. “Sally� Miles� call for players. Carpenter weighed only 128 pounds, though, and, not surprisingly, Miles told him he was too small for the team.
The setback did nothing to cool Carpenter’s ardor for the game. He “put cleats on a pair of old shoes, donned a sweater and a pair of old football pants, and waited patiently behind the scrub team as it scrimmaged the varsity.� His second season he weighed in at 150 pounds and made the team but didn’t play much.
Then in 1900, he was the starting right halfback. For all three seasons, though, Carpenter had played under the pseudonym Walter Brown. He had a very good reason for keeping his real name a secret: His father had forbidden him to play football.
Not until the 50-5 smashing of the VMI Keydets in Norfolk was his identity discovered. Brought to the game by a friend, Carpenter’s father watched incredulously as his son was the star. Young Carpenter was “aglow with victory� after the game when he unexpectedly ran into his dad in a hotel lobby. His father was so impressed by his son’s performance, though, that he relented, advising his son to do his best when he played.
We all have secrets or at least personal information we don’t want being made public. Much information about us -- from credit reports to what movies we rent -- is readily available to prying and persistent persons. In our information age, people we don’t know may know a lot about us � or at least they can find out. And some of them may use this information for harm.
While diligence may allow us to be reasonably successful in keeping some secrets from the world at large, we should never deceive ourselves into believing we are keeping secrets from God. God knows everything about us, including the things we wouldn’t want proclaimed at church. All our sins, mistakes, failures, shortcomings, quirks, prejudices, and desires � God knows all our would-be secrets.
But here’s something God hasn’t kept a secret: No matter what he knows about us, he loves us still.
The secret to winning football games is working more as a team and less as individuals. � Knute Rockne
We have no secrets before God, and it’s no secret that he nevertheless loves us still.