Tattletale

I remember one year going to the public health clinic when I was in elementary school to get my immunization shots.  A couple of my older brothers were with me. I couldn’t wait for my mother to pick us up. I had something to tell. As soon as she arrived I said, “Mother, when we got our shots, Darrell cried, Jerry cried, but I didn’t cry!” One of my brothers yelled, “You are nothing but a tape recorder. You tell Momma everything.”

His pronouncement did not embarrass me. I was just reporting the facts. Now I know better. Just because it’s the “truth,” does not mean I need to shout it from the moutaintop. We live in a culture that prizes getting out the information as quickly as possible.  But do we really need to know or does our sharing say more about us than the victim?

If I share someone’s secrets or mishaps, am I motivated by jealousy, pride, unresolved conflict? I ask because I Peter 4:8 says: Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”  Proverbs 17:9 says “Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends.” These verses are very direct and sobering. If I really love someone, why would I be so quick to expose their deepest secrets and shame?

I have to question the depth of my love when I can’t wait to “tell the truth” about someone and it would cause the hearer to think less of that person.

I’m so glad that God is not a tattletale. He covers all my faults and sins and does not take pleasure in exposing them for all to know. In fact, He places all of our sins in a net and casts them away as far as the east is from the west. That’s a true friend.

Yes, the “truth” may come out. But I don’t have to be the one to tell it.

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2 Responses to “Tattletale”

  1. Denise Says:

    This post is such a timely one since it parallels recent conversations some friends and I have been having. Very similar thoughts have been shared. I’m suspicious when someone says in his/her own defense, “well it’s the truth, and i had to tell the truth” after destroying another’s sense of self. Like your post points out, it begs the question as to the ‘truth-teller’s’ motive. So yes, I agree that the ‘truth’ as we know it, does not need to be told at all times.

    The following statement also got my attention, “If I share someone’s secrets or mishaps, am I motivated by jealousy, pride, unresolved conflict?” I recently shared someone’s story… it could be described as a mishap, at present. It is my fervent hope however, that there will be a positive ending. As I shared the story, I was aware that my purpose/motive was neither jealousy, pride, or unresolved conflict. My purpose was to seek help and direction. So while I shared the story with an individual that I trust, and while I thought the story was handled respectably, I continued to question whether I had acted appropriately and in a Christ-like way.

    Excellent living for the rest of my life is one of my goals and thus my comments on this very timely post. That said, I still question whether there is ever any justification for such actions. Thanks for a great post.

  2. k'marie Says:

    This is an on-time article for me–along with the mother’s advice in the next article to “think nothing.” Conviction follows me day & night, and I know that I’ve said some things in the past few days about another because “it was the truth.” I just repented (while typing this), and I pray that He continues to remind me that I’m no more than anyone else. He forgives all, not just me. Lord knows that I have some “closeted” events, conversations, etc. that I want noone else to know about BUT God. He’s the only one who’ll forgive and love me unconditionally, and I have to constantly remind myself that this goes for everyone else as well. Keep on doing the excellent work that God has called you to do.

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