How do you handle private information? Here’s one pathway: private information is currency, something I can use for my own personal gain. I introduce the possibility of exchanging this currency with:
- “Did you hear?”
- “Did you see?”
- “Did you know?”
I treat private information as currency in order to:
- Gain access to a certain crowd of people
- Buy temporary attention
- Create conversational wiggle-room to shift uncomfortable attention away from myself
- Purchase a shot of depraved adrenaline for my twisted, self-serving heart (Matt 15:19)
Private information is treated as currency by gossips (Rom 1:29), whisperers (Prov 18:8), slanderers (Eph 4:31), and busybodies (1 Tim 5:13).
How do you handle private information? Here’s a distinctly different pathway.
Private information is frequently a call for prayer (James 5:16).
Private information is often a confession, the fruit of a heart that has turned in genuine repentance and thereby opened up the possibility for healing (Matt 18:15).
Private information periodically reveals a case (Prov 16:28) to be handled with utmost care (Heb 12:12-13) and loving concern (2 Thes 3:15). It very well may involve confrontation (2 Sam 12:7). The goal of the confrontation is conviction (2 Sam 12:13) in order that the wayward man or woman will make a confession as an indispensable first step toward healing (James 5:19-20).
How do you handle private information?
Whereas private information is treated as currency by gossips, whisperers, slanderers, and busybodies, our heavenly Father calls us to recognize that private information so very often presents an opportunity for prayer, confession, care, concern, and, if need be, confrontation.
Framed from a slightly different angle, treating the private information of another as currency is all about me. Wisely handling the private information of another as a call for fervent prayer, the delicate fruit of a contrite heart, or an occasion for loving care and selfless concern is all about treating others as I would like to be treated (Matt 7:12).
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
__ but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. (Prov 17:9)
How do you handle private information? It’s ultimately a question of what you are seeking. Is private information currency to be used by you or an opportunity for you to serve someone else?