Everybody has secrets. According to Merriam-Webster, a secret is something “kept hidden from others, known to only a few people”; it is “keeping information hidden from others”. Yes, we all have secrets or know of secrets.
When I was a boy, my brother and our friend built a clubhouse up in our neighbor’s tree. In order to gain access, you had to know the secret password. Otherwise, you remained on the ground (which was probably a lot safer).
Some secrets should be kept like the password to your bank account or the identification of an undercover police officer. The Bible commends us to keep confidentiality when something is told to us with a reasonable expectation of secrecy. Proverbs 11:13 says, “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.” Confidentially is a character quality of a trustworthy person.
There are times, however, when keeping a secret is neither noble nor a good idea.
If keeping a secret causes harm to someone, then disclosing the secret in a wise manner may be the best thing to do. For example, if someone tells you that they are exhibiting destructive behavior, such as, cutting themselves, then it would wise to encourage them to tell someone or you tell someone who can, in turn, help them.
If keeping a secret is not helpful (1 Corinthians 6:12) or causes someone to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:9) or not edifying (1 Corinthians 10:23), then disclosing the secret in a wise manner may be the best thing to do.
When disclosing a secret, here are three things to consider. First, is it the right time (Ecclesiastes 3:1)? Secondly, is it to the right person or persons (Proverbs 11:13)? And, finally, is it with the right attitude (Galatians 5:22-23)?
Ultimately, keeping or revealing a secret is a sensitive and complex issue. It takes wisdom and sometimes assistance to do the right thing. Seek Godly counsel when in doubt and move forward from there.
Do you have a secret? What should you do about it?
Something to think about…