Words from the Heart for Tuesday November 7th, 2017
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
Proverbs 20:19 (NIV)
Breaking a Confidence
The words of the Book of Proverbs are so practical. We would have saved ourselves a lot of difficulty in the past by following this instruction. The Lord does not honour us when we betray a confidence. This is true even when we are “making a prayer request.” Let us make this a rule we follow in every setting of our lives.
A Canadian naval intelligence officer who has pleaded guilty to spying was selling secrets to the Russian military for about $3,000 a month. Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Paul Delisle, wasn’t lured into a life of betrayal. He volunteered his services to Moscow, walking into the Russian Embassy in Ottawa in 2007 and offering to betray his country for cash. For nearly five years, the sailor stole highly classified and secret information and once a month shipped it to the Russians. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Betraying your country is the height of disloyalty. But any betrayal is painful, and has been the demise of many a friendship. This has always been so. Millennia ago, King Solomon noticed this and wrote, in Proverbs 20:19, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.” The Bible often speaks of the sin of gossip. Spreading news about someone, particularly when they have told something in confidence, harms not only the person who is the focus of the gossip, but also harms the one doing the gossiping. The gossip gives them a false sense of superiority for knowing something “secret” which is why they share the information. But what the gossiper fails to notice is that people stop trusting him or her. As King Solomon says, people avoid anyone who talks too much about others. If someone shares something with you that they need you to keep confidential, the only person to whom you should speak about it is the Lord, in prayer. Be known as a person that others can trust. Never betray a confidence. And you will find others will learn to trust and confide in you.
These have been words from the heart.