CONFIDENTIALITY

‘…They gather gossip, and…spread it…’

Psalms 41:6

A man approached Socrates one day to share some gossip. The wise philosopher asked, ‘First, are you certain it’s true? Second, is it something good? Third, is it something useful?’ When the man said, ‘Not really,’ Socrates replied, ‘Well, if it’s not true, good or useful, why talk about it?’

Gossip can feel like a form of intimacy, but it’s actually a false bond motivated by the desire to diminish another person and make yourself look good. David said, ‘They visit…as if they were my friends, but…they gather gossip, and…spread it…’

Solomon said, ‘Gossip separates…best…friends’ (Proverbs 16:28 NLT), and it can cause you to lose ‘your good reputation’ (Proverbs 25:10 NLT).

Kevin Miller says: ‘A challenge in ministry is confidentiality—how open can you be?

The following questions can help you decide: Are you telling someone who can do something about the problem by helping, or offering discipline or correction?

Are you talking to someone wise enough to help you process your feelings and courageous enough to make you do the right thing by confronting the other person, or confessing where you’re at fault?

Is this news approved for sharing? Are you breaking a confidence, and if so, is it strictly because the person is endangering someone’s life, including their own?

Are you willing to divulge your source so it can be checked?

When you say this, does it break your heart? Have you examined your own life and confessed where you’ve sinned in similar areas? Are you praying for the person? Would you be comfortable if someone was saying this about you?’

written by Bob Gass