You. Me. Others.
By this I don't mean birthday or Christmas gift secrets... the kind where you withhold a surprise from one person until a certain moment when it is revealed. That's a bit different, because the plan was always in place to intentionally share that which was hidden. This is a secret meant to maximize another person's joy.
I'm speaking more specifically of the kind where one person tells another person, "Don't tell anyone else" or "Be sure ______ doesn't find out." In this instance, you are attempting to keep something or someone in the dark and hope it/they stay in the dark.
Secrets.... crazy things. All that energy spent jumping on a nugget to keep it down, and every time it pops up you have to spend that much more energy pushing it back down.
I remember walking in on someone who had something on their computer that they thought I didn't see. But I did see it... even though the person played it off and tried to smile and engage in a conversation to move beyond that questionable moment. So not only did they choose to have a secret, but I now had to make a choice to decide if I would let them keep their secret or share that I saw what I saw. Either way would be awkward... I could either keep the secret and our relationship would be that much more inauthentic. Or... I could confront the issue in an attempt to redemptively love the person forward through that issue.
Which would you normally choose in that situation?
Which makes me wonder - are secrets simply a form of deception? Or do they have any inherent value? For they will either attempt to establish or destroy the boundaries of love and morality we have in a relationship, whatever the motivation for use may be.
On the negative side:
- Sometimes we keep a secret because we're selfish.
- Sometimes we keep a secret to feel special and be sure others don't.
- Sometimes we keep a secret out of embarrassment.
- Sometimes we keep a secret so we can avoid reconciliation.
- Sometimes we keep a secret in order to not be bothered.
- Sometimes we keep a secret that another person asked us to because they don't want ____ finding out.
- Sometimes we keep a secret as a defense mechanism to avoid "getting into trouble."
- Sometimes we keep a secret for we fear people getting to know "the real us."
- Sometimes we keep a secret since we don't like what it says about us and believe if we don't acknowledge it we can move "forward" with blinders on.
- Sometimes we keep a secret only to test a relationship.
- Sometimes we keep a secret because a thought hasn't fully developed yet.
- Sometimes we keep a secret to avoid gossiping about another.
- Sometimes we keep a secret out of respect for a chain of command or a proper flow of who should know the information and when.
- Sometimes we keep a secret so that the innocent masses will not get distracted by the destructive patterns of the individual.
- Sometimes we keep a secret in order to allow a situation or a person to grow into something healthier.
- Sometimes we keep a secret that minimizes the fallout of a destructive issue.
- Sometimes we keep a secret as a way to ensure that the rotten attitude or thoughts inside of us doesn't hurt others.
- Sometimes we keep a secret for fear that if we share something it will spoil another person's chance to come forward on it.
- Sometimes we keep a secret since the people we might tell couldn't handle it due to their age or ability to understand the information in context.
- Sometimes we keep a secret only because God has asked us to.
So let me conclude "part one" of this post with a question...
What secret are you attempting to keep this week, and for what reason?
Chew on that, and I'll write more on this tomorrow.
What will I say?
Why... that's a secret.
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2)