We have talked in a previous post about Safeguarding Our Hearts Against Deception, not only in The End Times, but in our day-to-day lives.
Today, I want to pose a question to you on the flipside of being deceived, and that is, “Are you deceiving others by keeping a secret?” You might be thinking “I never thought that keeping a secret could be a form of deception. Why are you asking me that question?”
Well, for one reason, I have a secret, and I thought perhaps others might have a secret. My daily prayer is, “Search me oh Lord, and know my heart, try me and know my ways, and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in a plain path.” I have come to believe, after many years of praying that prayer, that there are some things that we may not even realize are sins, but as we continue to pray that prayer, the Holy Spirit will bring it to our attention when He feels we are ready for the truth.
And so it was, the Holy Spirit led me to the place after writing about deception in my last post where I felt nudged to know the answer to “Am I deceiving others by keeping this secret?” Thus, I did a lot of research and asked the Lord many questions about keeping a secret.
As far as I can tell, the Bible does not tell us directly if keeping a secret is deception, but it does clearly define the right and wrong uses of secrets.
See what you think of a few.
1. Nationality Secrets
Samson, an Israelite warrior, revealed the source of his strength (his hair) to Delilah, a Philistine. causing much disaster. Obviously, it was a secret he should have kept. (Judges 16:4-22)
Queen Esther's decision to hide her nationality later became a part of God's plan to save His people from destruction when she revealed her secret. (Esther 2:20; Esther 4:13; 7:3-6)
2. Wisdom from Proverbs
"A man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret." (Proverbs 11: 12-13) Keeping a secret can be a noble thing, especially when someone has placed their trust and confidence in you.
"A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice." (Proverbs 10:23) Wicked? Wow!
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Provers 28:13) It is safe to say that keeping sin a secret is always wrong.
3. Slandering A Neighbor
“Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence. (Psalm 101:5) This scenario actually happened to my family. A neighbor called and made false accusations against us, and ended her phone call with, “We are going to keep this quite in the neighborhood.” She took us to court, and no one but her immediate family was there. We, however, invited the neighbors to attend court so they could hear both sides of the story. What was meant to harm us in secret was exposed, and God freed us from false accusations in the process.
4. Division and Strife
I confess I have been guilty of causing division and strife by thinking I should be honest and dump a "tell all" on a person I felt had hurt me badly.
WRONG! Telling aging parents, siblings, or other family members “everything” often causes more harm. If I had it to do over, I would ask myself: “What will help that person by telling everything?" Also, I would give more thought to that person’s spiritual maturity level. I believe there are cases where it is best to tell nothing. Just be fully persuaded in our own mind what we believe to keep down further division. (Romans 14:5) Forgive past hurts, then make changes in our life to deal with the person in the present time.
5. God Keeps Secrets
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God.” (Deuteronomy 29:29) There are many things hidden from us that we will never know what they are until we reach heaven’s door. Honestly, I doubt it will not make any difference to us then.
From what I have studied so far, I sensed that keeping secrets is not sinful in itself. There are some things people should know and some things they should not know. And for sure, God is the Judge of all things done in secret.
I believe God’s main concern is three-fold:
- it is wrong to conceal sin
- always speak up for justice as Esther did, and as Proverbs says to do
- it is wrong to cause division and strife
My friends, please share your thoughts on this subject in the comments. Just as much as I don’t want to be deceived, I don’t want to deceive others, and I’m sure you don’t either. Let’s talk it out together.
Lynn, I couldn't stop reading this book! It is the best you have written! It's a "self-help-bible-based-do-it-yourself-demon-slaying-victory-winning book" like no other I've ever read. I learned some new prayer points as well as clarification on what exactly does my situation mean. Everyone who reads this will want their bible, notebook and the Holy Spirit sitting next to them as they strategize with the tools you've given! -Barb