CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?
Can you? Be honest, now. When privileged information passes through one of the gates of your senses, does it remain within the walls of your mind? Or is it only a matter of time before a leak occurs? When the grapevine requests your attention from time to time, do you refuse to help it climb higher, or do you encourage its rapid growth, fertilizing it by your wagging, unguarded tongue? When someone says, “Now this is confidential,” do you respect their trust or ignore it . . . either instantly or ultimately?
The longer I live, the more I realize the scarcity of people who can be fully trusted with confidential information. And the longer I live, the more I value those rare souls who fall into that category! As a matter of fact, if I were asked to list the essential characteristics that should be found in any member of a church staff or officer on a church board . . . the ability to maintain confidences would rank very near the top. No leader deserves the respect of the people if he or she cannot be trusted with information that is shared in private.
Our minds might be compared to a cemetery, filled with graves that refuse to be opened. The information, no matter how juicy or dry, must rest in peace in its coffin, sealed in silence beneath the epitaph “Shared in confidence—Kept in confidence.”
Solomon writes strong and wise words concerning this subject in Proverbs. Listen to his counsel:
- Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster (Prov. 10:14).
- Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut (Prov. 10:19).
- A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence (Prov. 11:13).
It’s hard to overestimate the value of a trustworthy person.
If you honestly believe that you can keep a confidence, then prove it with your silence. People are counting on you to keep their trust.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.