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...he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
We all need a shoulder to cry on. When we're battling habits and hang-ups we need a safe place to go, confident we'll be loved, understood, supported and prayed for. If those who are hurting can't find these qualities in church, where are they supposed to go? The betrayal of a confidence is a terrible sin. 'But what I said was true,' you object. So what? 'A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.'(Proverbs 11:13 NKJV) Note the words 'reveals' and 'conceals.'
The Hippocratic Oath says: 'Whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets.' That oath is taken by physicians and other professionals in positions of trust. But it ought to be binding on every one of us! How would you feel if your doctor, counsellor, minister or a trusted friend violated your confidence and broadcast your holy secrets? Hurt? Betrayed? The longer we live the more we realise there's a severe shortage of people who can be trusted to keep their mouths shut, and the more we value them. If you were asked to define a person of integrity, wouldn't the ability to keep a confidence be close to the top of your list? So here are some ground rules to live by: a) Instead of talking, pray about it; b) Instead of criticising, look for something good; c) Instead of showing anger, show grace. How you handle others determines how God will handle you!
Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.