I have periodic nightmares of various kinds. They can involve pirates and adventures gone awry at sea or losing a member of my family. I am not sure what causes them. My television viewing is largely restricted to sports, news, cooking shows, cartoons (for the kids, of course), or shows with talking animals (I’m a sucker for Narnia and Aflac commercials).

Recently I had one where I was being chased by a serial killer. It was eerily like the stupid movies I’ve seen commercials for. I was running and running through this old house to get away. After much effort (my wife says I didn’t wake her up), I was out of the house. Then I went back in the house to use the restroom.

The real me was screaming at the dream me, “Don’t be stupid!” But dream me didn’t listen. As I walk through the house (no longer running or fearful) looking for the restroom, from out of nowhere a butcher knife takes a hack at me. I spent the rest of the dream keeping the blade away from my neck.

When I woke up strangling my pillow, my heart was racing and I had time to think. I don’t have the spiritual gift of dream interpretation, but as I thought of how foolish it was to walk back into the house, I had a thought – that is how foolish it is for me to sin in private.

Any time we sin and fail to confess to those that God would use to point us back in the right direction (Heb 3:12-13), we are like dream me walking back into the house with the mass murderer (1 Pet. 5:8). It was a picture that resonated with me. Rarely had I viewed sin in that fashion.

If I were advising dream me, I would have said, “Run like the dickens (in my dreams the main character usually has a strong country accent) to the first phone that you can find with the line not cut and call 9-1-1.” Why would I treat sin any differently?

Is it macho pride because I want to show that I can handle it?

Is it twisted insecurity that values my reputation more than my life?

Is it immaturity that believes sin is “no big deal”?

Is it brute pleasure that enjoys the thrill?

What reason would I have accepted from dream me? Answer: none. There would be no reason that would justify wandering through a house with a mass murderer lurking to look for a rest room.

The next time that you struggle with sin and are hesitant to reach out to a Christian friend for accountability and encouragement, remember this post and don’t become “my dream come true.”