from Chapter 8

Excerpt from the book

Tools for Improving Relationships

Chapter Eight – A Word Aptly Spoken – Communication: Sharing Our Messages and Ourselves

 Guarding One Another with Confidentiality

The United States government has coined a term that refers to the passing along of important and even secret information. Individuals are selectively chosen to receive information on what is called a “need-to-know” basis. One of the first guidelines we can use when it comes to handling privileged or delicate information is to share our knowledge only with those who need to know.

Immediately the question arises: Wouldn’t that include anyone who knows about a situation and might be called on to fast and/or pray for them?

Why not?

It’s time we were honest with ourselves and admit that sometimes we share information because it lets others know that we are in-the-know.

Instinctively, many of us sense that knowledge equals power and position. To be in on privileged information makes us feel important. Who among us can resist when someone pulls us aside and whispers, “What I’m going to tell you now is strictly confidential…”?

If we want to build relationships on strong and true biblical principles, we’re going to have to get down to examining our motives when we give or receive information about each other. Very simply, we must ask ourselves, “Does this person really need to know”? Or, “Do I really need to be in on this?”

Of course there are very definite occasions and positive reasons for divulging private or possibly damaging information. And there are ways that we can do it effectively so the results do no harm.

First, let’s consider who might be included in the need-to-know category. We will have to decide in any given situation from these recommended guidelines.

We have found, with numerous minor incidents over the years, that a simple rule applied. Those who need to know are persons who are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

That often cuts out a large part of any group of people immediately, even though they might be counted on for prayer support. It will probably include only those responsible for overseeing someone’s spiritual support.

© Beverly Caruso

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