“If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.”
This is a lesson for young players and old respectfully. It has relevance both to our very own confidences and others’ confidences too. As they say, if we’re not involved in a problem or its solution we shouldn’t get involved in the first place.
But how many of us have—to our demise, I might add?
The callous extrovert (this has certainly been me from time to time) is particularly vulnerable to spruiking awake what should remain asleep—and for reward comes any manner of embarrassment. This is bad enough as it happens to those discreet things of our own—heaven help us if it’s found to be others’ dirty linen we’re airing!
But it happens. It happens every day in every corner of the world. It’s no good berating ourselves.
Nailing the Lid Shut
How exactly do we train ourselves to restrain our tongues? And how do we encourage indiscreet others to respect the notional boundaries the rest of the world typically respects?
Well, perhaps it begins with understanding the rudimentary insidiousness of the problem we have. Understanding this is no small problem helps us appreciate we need God’s help through prayer. James says a salt spring cannot produce fresh water (James 3:12).
In other words, we’ll always be ‘given’ to this propensity to tell all and overly praise some whilst cursing others. We need God’s help—God will ask us if we’re really serious.
For others we’re around who have loose tongues, we need to gently, sensitively and courteously bring them to account each time; after sufficient warning(s) if the activity doesn’t cease we can then begin to patiently withdraw. Trust is not a given here; it’s got to be earned. We’re being firm but fair. We’re merely protecting us and ours from potential future harm.
These are important questions of privacy we all need to ask ourselves, and be prepared to answer. Where are we being transgressed and where are we transgressing?
Confidences – that Fine Balance
At times we take confidences too seriously and then we upset people we ordinarily should trust by withholding information unnecessarily from them. They might see this as an abuse of our power.
Attaining the balance is the key. Finding out what or how much of the confidence is ‘declarable’ is a good thing. It’s nice to be able to safely share what we can. Even better if we only know what others are able to know. There’s nothing better than being on the same page with others—it engenders trust and smashes fear.
It’s always good when we’re not imposing ourselves on others. There’s already enough imposition in life without us adding to it.
We should only impose ourselves to protect the vital truth.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.