Friday, May 24, 2019

"Surprises, Yes! Secrets, No!"

2nd Kings 17.9 NASU

“The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God.”

We always had a “no secret” rule in our home. I kept no secrets from my wife, and she never asked the children to keep them from me. I never hide pertinent business information from my clients. The practice of secrecy enables people to form unholy alliances. Those possessing ‘secret’ knowledge profit from the ignorance of others. Secret societies create division and promote class distinctions. Secrets keep those who deserve to know out the information loop. Secrets impart power to their holders and advance agendas outside of God’s will. 

We always taught our young children if asked, “Can you keep a secret?,” to respond automatically with, “No, I cannot. Whatever you tell me I will tell my mom and dad.”

We do make a distinction at home between secrets and surprises. Surprises are short term events and with happy endings. Surprises are kept private for the benefit of those from whom we keep information. Secrets are about what I can gain. Surprises are about what I can give. For example, if I buy a gift for my wife’s birthday I may ask the children to help me wrap it, reminding them with during this teaching moment: “Don’t tell mom. It’s not a secret
It’s a surprise!” Hopefully, Mom will be feel loved when we celebrate her birthday and present her “surprise.” 

Surprises are fun and exciting, but nothing good comes from keeping secrets. In our home surprises are encouraged, secrets are exposed. Surprises make others happy. Secrets would hurt them if they knew. We must face the consequences and reveal our secrets.

Except for promoting secret times of personal and private prayer (Matthew 6.5-6), Jesus was anti-secret. He taught full disclosure. The Lord hid nothing from the world He came to save. His life was an open book. 

“I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in
the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.”
John 18.20 NASU

We cannot hide and keep secrets from God. Adam and Eve tried and failed. No secret you try to keep will be kept that way.

“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be
 known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and
 what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Luke 12.2-3 NASU

“The sons of Israel did things secretly” forming unholy alliances and creating a spiritual chasm between themselves and “the Lord their God.” They never got away with the secret plans they hoped to pull off. 


Ellis Nadler said...

What about:
A) Confession to a priest?
B) Medical confidentiality?

Mikes said...

Praise the Lord for this post!That's one different way of putting right perspectives on secrets. After all God knows everything why keep the secret. I can remember Open rebuke is better than hidden love. some keep their corrections because they don't want to hurt them but really it's not real love after all.

Dave Scriven said...

Thanks for the comments, Ellis and Mikes. Ellis, I can think of several exceptions to the "no secret" rule... private counseling issues, client confidentiality, national security, privacy in personal medical and financial matters, care with age appropriate information, etc. However, secrets between family members and intimate social groups can create the problems I've described in the post above.

Though we must exercise wisdom in the information we share, my experience tells me more harm comes from secrecy than full disclosure in most cases.

Thanks for sharing.