A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Several ideas come to mind for me when I read this proverb.
The first is perhaps the most obvious. When someone entrusts a person with confidential information, a faithful person will keep the information hidden while an unfaithful person will tell it to others.
It is not good to gossip about one another, especially concerning intimate details of someone’s life that was revealed in confidence.
Some people pretend to be compassionate, then when you open up to them, they take the information you gave and use it against you—which was their goal all along.
Some people think highly of you, so they encourage you to open up to them, then when they see you at your worst, they turn on you and tell others about your failings.
We should not do these things to one another. We would not appreciate it if someone did this to us.
Another idea is similar to the first.
The more we get to know people, the more apt we are to see where their faults lay. Should we then reveal these to others? It would be better if we consider whether or not these faults are sinful, and if they are, how we might faithfully help the person overcome in the Lord, Jesus.
Lastly, I think about faithfully using the knowledge we are given.
What I mean is, sometimes the Lord by His Spirit will reveal things to us, but not all things revealed should be shared with others.
We have to seek the Lord for discretion. Sometimes He reveals things that are meant for our personal edification, so there is no need to share it. Doing so can make one seem as if they are flaunting their experiences, or perhaps they might reveal things accidentally that they should have kept to themselves.
Sometimes the Lord reveals things, but we have to keep them in our heart and consider it until the time is right for us to use the knowledge.
Maybe this sounds strange to some, but I speak from personal experience.
I was raised to be a cessationist. I’m not exactly a charismatic (I don’t agree with a lot of the things I have observed in these circles), but I do believe that the gifts of the Spirit are for today and the Holy Spirit is still very active among believers who seek Jesus and strive to keep His word faithfully.
There were times, especially early in my adult walk with the Spirit, that the Spirit showed me things. I shared these things with one or two others because I was excited and also a bit baffled. Being relatively new in the faith and ignorant of scripture, I did not understand what I was being shown, so I wanted input and interpretation. Looking back, I sort of regret it because I feel somewhat embarrassed, naive, foolish, and unfaithful. Yet, I know that God is in control of all things, and thankfully, these were faithful brethren.
Not all things are meant to be shared at once. Even Jesus said, “I have many things yet to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.” He trusted the Holy Spirit of Truth to reveal all things according to the perfect will and timing of the Father.
Whether we are dealing with the sins of another or some other form of sensitive information, we should seek Jesus to help us use discretion and discernment so that we can be of a faithful spirit.
God deals with the unfaithful. We can trust in Him, so even if someone deals unfaithfully with us, we can know that He will handle it, and all things will work out for our ultimate good. Even if we were unfaithful a time or two ourselves. Peter was also, and Jesus loved Peter.
We should not use Peter’s example as an excuse, but to know that if the grace of God is for us, Jesus will not forsake us. In like manner, if the grace of God is for us, those who are kept by Jesus will not forsake us either. We can forgive one another of our unfaithfulness, thank God for lessons learned, and move forward in faith as one whose faithfulness was made stronger by the grace of God in Jesus Christ.