So I was doing some thinking… How much is too much?
Being transparent and honest would only be possible if we trust the person that we are engaging and also if we know the person can handle the truth of which we are. The weight of what is in our heart can to some people, be too heavy a burden to carry. Then most important of all… we should always put the situation in the right perspective.
For instance; a friend confides in you that he is racist because he had a few bad experiences with people of a different culture therefore he generalises the whole ethnic group. Most people would actually frown upon a person being transparent about that, but let’s say your friend knows God’s heart is that he loves ALL people and that generalising like that is wrong and he actually is seeking some advice form you to deal with it. It is a whole different perspective than somebody who just doesn’t like people different than himself for no apparent reason more than selfish pride and arrogance and also does not think of changing any behaviour.
I got this scripture from Dewald my cousin a while back when we were discussing the same topic.
Matthew 7:6 ESV
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
This from the ESV Study Bible…
Matt. 7:6 In the ancient world, dogs lived in squalor and scavenged the streets for food (Ps. 59:14–15). Jews considered them unclean and used the term to describe those apart from, or enemies of, Israel’s covenant community (cf. 1 Sam. 17:43; Ps. 22:16; Prov. 26:11). Pigs were rejected by Jews, probably because they too were scavenging animals, and they were unclean according to OT law. Pearls symbolize the great value of the message of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matt. 13:45–46). Believers are to be merciful, forgiving, and slow to judge (7:1–5), yet they should wisely discern the true character of people and not indefinitely continue proclaiming the gospel to those who adamantly reject it, so that they can move on and proclaim the gospel to others (cf. 10:14; also Acts 13:46; 18:6; Titus 3:10–11).
So this is obviously not always such a cut and dry debate as I would make you believe after quoting that scripture. Sometimes there are circumstances even the hard of heart cannot help for. But rule of thumb I would say is to be transparent to the absolute best of your ability but keep in mind that not all people have God in their lives and some people will not understand if you tell them you struggle with something like say, pornography or cussing to much or maybe being self-centred, because to them those are just normal things which they feel does not make you a bad person. Choose the people you confide in very well, but always be truthful when asked about God and life in general, just so much less to remember as when lying.
Martin Luther said…Peace if possible, truth at all costs.
I am awaiting your comments…