Proverbs 22: As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
Recently I had the experience twice of picking the wrong people to confide in. The first was Christine, a young woman who had come to me seeking advice. During the process of trying to relate to her situation, I shared one bit of personal information with her. That info came back to bite me time and time again when she decided she didn’t like my advice.
The second time it was Emma who confided personal information to me about a relationship she was in. Seeing we had some things in common and wanting a confidante, I confided some personal information about the man I was interested in to her. For a couple of months we exchanged information about the ups and downs of our courtships, and at different times when there were misunderstandings, we both confided our feelings of anger, hurt and frustration.
Emma also had an idiosyncrasy that didn’t bother me at first but which later took on a great deal of significance. “Have you talked to Phil (her love interest)?” she would frequently inquire although I had assured her we were rarely in touch and that I would let her know if we talked. Later Emma became (wrongly) convinced that Phil and I were, in fact, in touch via email. In a fit of misplaced revenge, she revealed a great deal of what I had told her in confidence about my own relationship to the man I was interested in.
How easy it is for me to look at both women and feel anger for their lack of discretion, for revealing my confidences, for betraying my trust. How I long to set the record straight, to tell my side, to make them see the truth! The first time with Christine, I did try to clear the record. I replied, responded, rebutted to every post she made on a discussion forum we were on. Then I gradually began to ignore her posts, but they got to me all the same. She looked for opportunities to taunt me with her innuendoes and it was hard not to want to explain, justify, and defend myself at every turn.
By the time Emma betrayed my trust, I had learned a lot. The hardest lesson was that as much as I wanted to rail at Ella for her indiscretion, I had to realize my own indiscretion was worse. I should have learned my lesson the first time. Some things are not meant to be shared. The second lesson I have learned is equally valuable. It is not my job to try and set the record straight; I can’t do it, even if I try. People are going to believe what they want to believe. Justice and my own vindication are in God’s hands. I have to walk away and let God take care of it.
There is a natural tendency to want “God with skin on” — someone to talk to and share our concerns with. Having the right confidantes can help keep us healthy and sane. But some things, certainly things revealed to us in confidence, are not meant to be shared with any save the Lord (except in certain rare instances). Although I was sharing my hopes, concerns and feelings with God, my desire for instant feedback when God didn’t answer me quickly enough sent me running in the wrong direction. I have paid dearly for my lack of faith as well as my indiscretion.
There is often a high price to pay for wisdom.
Kathryn Darden is editor and publisher of ChristianActivities.com and a recovering political forum junkie.
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