To tell or not to tell…that is the question.
I was reminded of a fatal mistake I made a few years ago: trusting someone with some information that could be used against me…. In my quest to be “open and honest,” I divulged information, 15-20 year old information about myself, because I was asked a point-blank question. I normally pride myself on being honest. My closest friends have said that I am of the most honest people they know. So, of course, I chose NOT to lie because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite and I didn’t want to have dishonesty in the relationship. Needless-to-say, it came as a surprise to me when I was penalized for my honesty.
Not only has this information, my sins, been thrown back in my face, they have been thrown back in my face REPEATEDLY. If it wasn’t for the grace of God, you may have read about me in the paper this morning. I’m so glad that I serve a living God! He has since taught me things that I didn’t know when I confessed my sins to a person who clearly was not in a spiritually right position to hear them.
Yes, God loves truth and honesty. AND, at the same time, He is a provider of wisdom. Also, in His Word, it teaches us that there is a place and time for everything. So when I put this all together now, what have I learned?
1. I have learned that I must still continue to strive to be truthful; not to let people’s judgments cause me to sin.
2. I have learned that not everyone, even though they may ask, is ready to hear the truth/facts. (Remember in that movie Jack Nicholson said, “You can’t handle the truth!” Uh huh.) The truth was that I was lost. The fact was that I sinned. Some folks can’t or won’t handle that.
3. Consider the source of the question. What is her/his spirit like? Does s/he bear the fruit of the spirit, or is s/he a sick soul? If her/his spirit isn’t right, keep your business to yourself.
4. What are her/his motives for asking? To get to know you better or to find fault? I learned from this particular situation that some people live to find fault in others. Instead of rejoicing and celebrating you for the good you have in you TODAY, they will persecute you for your yesterdays, or in my case, YESTERYEARS. (By the way, fault-finding is a demonic spirit. Did you know that?) Information should be used to edify God’s kingdom, not to tear down His children.
5. There is a place and time for everything, even confessions. Confess to God anytime, all the time. With people, it’s a little different depending on the situation. In my case, my sins had nothing to do with my present, and certainly not on the relationship. So, I more than likely should not have chosen to delve into my past. In keeping with being honest, what should I have done? Simply say, “That’s a part of my past that I don’t care to bring into my future. I appreciate your understanding.” And leave it at that. No need to lie, and no need to re-hash my sins.
6. I have also learned that there is no need to argue about past sins. It was what it was. It cannot be changed. Arguing over it won’t change it. I just praise God that since repenting, He has proven to be faithful and merciful and has erased my sins!
So, consider what I’ve said before you open your mouth to confess something about your past, especially if it is unrelated to your present situation. Always confess your sins, faults, shortcomings, etc. to God. Let the Lord lead you when it comes to confessing other things. Remember, there is a place and time for everything and you’d be better off divulging information according to God’s perfect timing and not man’s simpleminded curiosity.
May God continue to bless you,