Keeping It Confidential

"Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint" -Proverbs 25:19

The book of Proverbs has so many timely sayings and ideas that are appropriate for everyday life. This particular verse has always intrigued me because of the completeness of what it says in so few words. If we place our confidence in someone who is not faithful to being able to or not wanting to help us when we need it, we are in serious trouble. When this happens, we are hampered in not only what we say (broken tooth idea), but also in where we go (foot out of joint idea)...and both of these are very painful.

I do not know if you have had the "wonderful" experience of having root canal work done in your mouth, or if you have bitten into something that was harder than you thought, which resulted in your breaking a tooth. Either experience is a terrific way to lose weight, but is also very painful. You cannot eat because of the pain. It is difficult to talk because of the pain. Many times the pain is so intense that your sleep is adversely affected. Let's go one step further. Let's say that along with the mouth or nerve pain, you have also disjointed your foot. Now not only is it difficult to talk, eat, and maybe sleep, it is almost impossible for you to walk around! Think of it. Not being able to eat, sleep, walk, and having a hard time explaining any of it to someone else because of the pain. This is truly the picture of a miserable individual. It is certainly a place that I would never want to find myself.

But how many people do we put in that very same position when we do not hold what is told to us in private, in the strictest of confidence? When what is told to the pastor in confidence gets "preached" at the next Sunday sermon? When someone has for the first time told their deepest secrets to someone that they trusted to help them, and similar information is haphazardly mentioned in a social gathering or to someone who felt the need to tell others "so that they could pray for the individual"? When your best friend confides in you...and you open your mouth and let the confidential information slip to someone else, increasing the likelihood of the secret being spread like wildfire? People's hearts can be broken, lives can be ruined, trust destroyed, and relationships harmed by careless handling of confidential information.

Being a friend or a caregiver holds a great responsibility to keeping our mouths shut with information told to us in confidence.

Don't be the source of pain in someone's life through broken confidence. Remember (Proverbs 25:19).

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