- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 25:9
"Argue your case with your neighbor, and do not reveal the secret of another."
This proverb is very hard to live out, but it represents wisdom at a level few can understand.
There will be situations in which you are right and you know you are right, and the only way to prove it is to tell something that you know that no one else knows. But to tell violates a confidence; it breaks a trust; it saves your skin but exposes someone else. You put someone else in the crosshairs in order to save your own. God says, through the lips of Solomon, that you must prove your point without the information that is secret. You cannot expose the secret of another for selfish reasons. I would add that protecting the immoral conduct of another from a righteous judge is not in view here.
Life is about relationships and if you violate trust, then you will become known as a person that cannot be trusted. In order to have close intimate friends, you must be able to be trusted with their inner secrets. It is absolutely imperative that you be able to know things that you will never say to another except the person who told you. If you cannot hold these truths, these fantasies, these dreams, these actions confidential, then people will not trust you and you will not develop intimate friendship. The good stuff of relationships develops over time when people trust you with their fears, their dreams, their fantasies, their deep inner secrets.
Too often people play junior high games all their life. They want to know something only to be known knowing it. They tell all they know to the people who will think it is cool that they know this. One does not promote in companies this way. One does not gain deep, long-lasting loyal friends this way. One does not have a healthy marriage this way. One does not develop a deep bond with their children this way.
The deep bonds of relationships are built on trust and confidence that your friends will not betray your secret thoughts, dreams, and actions.
You will be tempted to include information you know in order to prove a point in an argument to direct attention away from yourself, to shift blame to someone else. Don't betray trust. Relationships are too valuable. You should argue your case and try and win but do not betray secrets. If you win and are alone, what have you won? If you are always right but no one wants to be friends with you, what has being right done for you?
At times it is better to be thought wrong in the present and keep your confidences. At times it is best to be a nobody than to open your mouth to become a somebody by betraying a trust someone put in you. Life is a lot more interesting.
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