Have you ever told a friend a secret about you and trusted it would be just between you both but your friend, or should I say former friend (because this matter does scatters friendship) went ahead and did the exact opposite causing you to regret doing it? Or are you that friend no one trusts with their secrets?
On the other hand, have you ever told someone a secret and they were faithful in keeping it so you thought repay their kindness? Yes? Then you must be glad to come across this article, because today we will be talking about ten things you should know about keeping a friend’s secret.Have you ever told someone a secret and they were faithful in keeping it so you thought repay their kindness? Click To Tweet
I’d like to start first with this story…
So one day my brother and I were very hungry because our parents had gone to work and had forgotten to give us money for food. We searched the house but there was no food everywhere. Then an idea came to me, why not search Daddy’s trouser pockets, he always has money there. And that’s exactly what we did, or let me say I did because I was the one who climbed the stool to grab daddy’s trouser from the wardrobe door.
I searched the pocket and guess how much I found? 1000 naira! I was so happy! We ran to the other street as excited as we could be and we bought boli (roasted plantain) and groundnuts worth about two hundred naira. As at 2009 or so, the boli was too much to eat for two little children but who cares what you do with stolen money? My brother (my fellow criminal) and I agreed that it will be our little secret.
The next evening, my dad began to look for the money and asked if we had seen it. Instantly, I denied seeing it anywhere! Then he started praying to God to show him where the money was and my conscience began to judge me but the lie had already been told. To “ease” my conscience, I joined them (my parents) to look for the money. After searching, overturning the bed, sweeping everywhere and praying, my daddy told us to let it go and we went to sleep. Case closed.
Then my brother and I had this fight…
I can’t remember what caused it but it was serious and he meant business. He got angry and did the unthinkable, he went straight to my daddy and said “ Daddy, my sister has one blue money, one green money and another red money, it’s in her church bag”. Anyone who knows the Nigerian currency and has been paying attention to this gist knows he just described five hundred naira, two hundred naira and one hundred naira notes, making a sum of eight hundred naira.
My daddy was livid! He asked me if it was true but didn’t wait to hear the response. He told me to bring the bag, I tried throwing the money down the window but I thought of my amebo (nosy) neighbours, those ones will always talk. In fear, I gave my daddy the bag and he saw the money in it. He asked where I got such an amount of money from (because we weren’t given huge amounts of money as kids), and my brother supplied the much needed information.
Brethren, do I need to tell you the things my eyes saw that night? I was flogged from about 8pm till about 11pm, with other punishments alongside. I couldn’t believe my brother didn’t keep to his words. In summary, our little secret wasn’t a secret anymore as the whole world heard my shouts of “ Daddy please! I’d never steal again in my life!”, “Daddy please! It will be my lassssssssstttt time, I swear to GOOOODDDDDDDDD!”
I know you are laughing, but you probably did worse as a child, or maybe your own story about your secret coming out in the open wasn’t as hilarious as mine.
Now that you have laughed at my shame, let’s talk about these ten things you should know about keeping your friend’s secret.
If you read to the end, I’d share another secret I have, and trust me, you’d love it!
1. Not all secrets should be confidential
Many times, our friends tell us secrets that really shouldn’t be secrets as they are actually things that need urgent attention. For instance a suicidal friend, one who is struggling with guilt and the devil is really tormenting, or a friend who just committed a criminal offense.Many times, our friends tell us secrets that really shouldn’t be secrets as they are actually things that need urgent attention. Click To Tweet
These instances and more are things that shouldn’t be kept to oneself. Be discerning to know who to tell about the situation. Also, ensure that the person can actually handle the situation right. In all you do, ensure that you are going about it the right way, keep gossip out of it.
2. A secret shared is an opportunity to show loyalty.
A secret shared is an opportunity to show loyalty. Now that we have established that some secrets shouldn’t be kept, we can’t deny that some are infact so sacred they shouldn’t leave your lips. Loyalty should warrant this sacrifice from you.
Loyalty is quite a rare virtue to find in friendship these days. If your friend comes to you with a secret about how they have dyslexia, for example, you shouldn’t be blabbing it all around because you had a fall out with them later.
We at Lifegiva found some time to interview loyalty during the course of the week at the airport just before its flight out of some friendships and here is what it had to say.If your friend comes to you with a secret about how they have dyslexia, for example, you shouldn't be blabbing it all around because you had a fall out with them later. Click To Tweet
“There was a time that a test of my presence in a friendship was something I looked forward to. I saw the two humans refuse to give me up in spite of what was thrown at them, even amidst fights that could lead to the end of the friendship.
Some were offered money and fame but they chose me above all of that, and though they didn’t get money or fame in life they were content with having kept whatever secret was shared in the friendship,” it said with while wiping it’s eyes with a tissue.You can’t be using people’s secrets to score cheap points in an argument. It's wrong! You must understand that doing that is you saying “I don’t value this person’s life or secret as much as they think I do”. Click To Tweet
It also added, “But in recent times, I haven’t even been invited into some friendships and the ones that invited me seemed to have forgotten what my presence even meant. Their attitude towards secrets proves this point of mine and I can’t but hope whoever hears this remembers to be loyal no matter what” it lamented.
The interview ended with thanks and we promised to take this message to the ears of every man. Enough said.
3. A secret shouldn’t be used as an example in a conversation.
See, this is one hill I am willing to die on. You can’t be using people’s secrets to score cheap points in an argument. It’s wrong! You must understand that doing that is you saying “I don’t value this person’s life or secret as much as they think I do”. Asides the nails they pierced in Jesus’s hands and feet, I don’t think there is anything more painful than that. So, repent! Remember, if it’s not your story to tell, don’t tell it.
4. When the secret shared is a problem, follow it up until there’s a solution.
Need I say more? When a secret shared is a problem that needs solving, do try (as much as it is within your capacity) to provide a solution.
5. When the secret shared is a spiritual matter, pray about it, take responsibility in the spirit.
Some secrets are best handled with heartfelt prayers. Anyone who has people come talk to them about life issues and secrets know this. So when it comes to you please pray, take it up to God, and don’t stop until there is a solution.
6. Understand that the person sharing his/ her secret is doing it from a place of trust.
Trust is something we should never trifle with. It is one thing for a person to show us that they trust us, it’s another thing for us to be trustworthy. Don’t be the reason people begin to lose trust in people, the last thing we at Lifegiva need is to run into Trust at the airport, he might not be as nice as loyalty was with us.
7. God expects us to keep secrets too.
There are some things Jesus did in the Bible that He told His disciples not to tell anyone (Matthew 16:19-20, Matthew 9: 28-30). If you were a disciple of Jesus would you have been able to keep His secret?
8. Stay away from gossip or gossip bearers!
9. If the secret shared is an experience or a mistake made by a person, be wise to ensure you don’t make their mistake.
Now here is what I mean, sometimes people call us aside to tell us stories about mistakes they made and secrets about their lives. When they do, you must understand that it is not as easy as it appears to say those things.Sometimes people call us aside to tell us stories about mistakes they made and secrets about their lives. When they do, you must understand that it is not as easy as it appears to say those things. Click To Tweet
Sometimes, it comes from a place of pain but they still tell you, why? It is because they do not want you to repeat that mistake or carry the same secrets they carry too. It is wisdom to see that you don’t walk that path, be wise and discerning, doing so is honourable.
10. Finally, if the secret can be avoided by confessing, choose to confess!
Remember my shame story? The story of my brother and I stealing which I shared earlier, is the conclusion.
My daddy later called me aside to say, “I don’t have a problem with you taking money from my pocket to eat, you are my child, I won’t starve you. But what hurt me was that you lied and kept back the change making you a liar and a thief. The next time this happens or there is an emergency, take the money, eat and explain later when I come back, I won’t beat you for doing the right thing.”Trust is something we should never trifle with. It is one thing for a person to show us that they trust us, it’s another thing for us to be trustworthy. Click To Tweet
Emotional, right? Well that’s exactly how I felt, and guess what? His instruction is something I still apply till today. So, instead of living life with shame, and unnecessary secrets, I’d rather come out straight and bear whatever consequences. This often isn’t as grievous as keeping quiet with the secret later coming out in a shameful way. And that, my dear reader, is my little secret.
I hope you enjoyed this read and you remember to apply them in all that you do.
P.S: As for my little secret, please feel free to apply number 9! I love you!
Enjoyed this article? You can also read “3 Ways To Love Your Neighbour“.
Written by Shalom Olanipekun