Privacy, Not Secrecy

I remember in my small group in WA, one of my sweet ladies once said: Privacy is ok, but secrecy is not.
I have thought about that many times since then, and I absolutely agree!
There is a big difference in a private life and a secret life. Secrecy is toxic, because it involves either a spoken lie or the deliberate omission of critical information. But while secret lives are fundamentally dishonest, a life in which some things are kept private (between friends or spouses) is expected..

I would not typically use this example in such a public forum. (My mama taught me better.) But I read it somewhere and can’t think of a better example of this. One of the most obvious ways to distinguish private from secret is to think about bathroom habits. Even when we’re around people we love and trust, a lot of us still close the door to the bathroom when we’re planning to sit in there for a while. 🙂 There’s no deception as to what we’re doing in there with the door shut. We’re asking for the right to privacy, not secrecy.

I think about what Jesus said about the Pharisees in Luke 12. I am thankful for my privacy, and as a minister’s wife I even need it sometimes! But I never want to get in a habit of living in secrecy.
It is a dangerous place to live.

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