I think I’ve found a gaping hole in the market so to speak. In fact, I know I have and I think I should share it with you.
Sometimes–more like, most of the times–when everyone seems to be zigging, it’s a good thing to start zagging.
So how are people zigging? Let’s take a look.
Right now there is a rush to be known, heard and recognized. The lust of notoriety is fueled by a seemingly endless appetite for entertainment and an almost non-existent barrier of entry to release content makes it possible.
With this modern phenomena comes a flood of great stories called “testimonies”, which help inspire droves of other people. Testimonies are fantastic in many ways, but sometimes we seem to forget that the there can be a downside.
We seem to forget that on the other side of the story is a person. A person with feelings. Becoming caught in the vigor and excitement of hearing or seeing something amazing, we can rush to share what could very well be an encounter that is better left confidential.
There seems, to me, to be a generally blatant disregard for the confidentiality of people’s private lives.
The other day I posted the following statement: “The body of Christ desperately needs to relearn the lost art of confidentiality and to operate in the discernment of when to utilize it.”
I am a person who has both shared thrilling testimonies, which have helped many people see what was possible, and kept particular encounters to myself.
These days, God is having me do much more of the latter. He is doing so in me personally for a couple of reasons.
- He is increasingly putting me in the lives of people who have a high need and value for confidentiality.
- He is teaching me that He also has a high value for keeping some things between me and Him.
Where are you? Is God having you do one more than the other or is it a both/and? Do you not know? If not, it is something to consider.
If you are not sure or would like to further develop the art of determining whether or not to share that story—no worries—I’ve got ya covered.
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself that will help give you a filter when deciding whether or not to share a story about your interaction with another person.
1. What are your motives? Do a little internal evaluation real quick. Be honest with yourself and if you truly are driven by the leading of God to share the story, do it! If you ask yourself this question and the answer is “yes”, proceed to question 2. If “no”, abort.
2. How will sharing the story or information effect your relationship? Some stories are not worth telling because by doing so, you would negatively alter the course of the relationship between you and the other person. Helping other people is great, but at the potential cost of damaging a relationship or hindering a potential relationship…not worth it. Let’s move on.
3. Que Bono? If you make it past questions 1 and 2 and still are considering sharing the story, ask your self “Que Bono?” or who benefits. Usually just asking yourself the question and putting yourself in context of being aware of the other person’s interest, you will find that you already know the answer of whether or not to share. In the ideal situation, it is not one person or the other who benefits. It is both you and them are blessed, as well as, the people who get to hear the story. There should be no losers; only winners.
4. Will it in any way dishonor another person? By sharing the story of your interaction with another person, even if their name is removed, would they in any way be dishonored? If so, you know the answer.
I hope this helps and I hope that you thrive in walking the line of keeping things confidential and blessing others with great stories to help stretch them in their own development.
Always keep in mind, there is no replacing a good friend who you can trust with confidential information. In today’s world these kinds of relationships seem to be harder to come by.
If you practice and get good at doing this, you will find that people will be drawn to you and want to be your friend.