Little kids knew about branding long before the business world caught on. School children have an uncanny knack of deciding upon a trait they’d like to magnify about another person, and then honing in on that trait with a name. Unfortunately, on the playground, these names usually aren’t complimentary, but once they’re assigned, they tend to stick. Nobody wanted to be dubbed “nose-picker,” “fatty,” “cry-baby,” “teacher’s pet,” or be said to have contracted “the cooties.” Of all the possible things you could be called, though, the absolute worst was to be branded as a tattletale.
Everybody knew a tattletale could not be trusted and so to be branded as one meant you now had no friends. You were eyed with suspicion and blamed whenever someone’s misdeeds were uncovered. This culture that began in the early elementary years has morphed into the no-snitching-under-any-circumstances code by which teenagers live. To avoid being labeled a snitch, they will keep a secret that could even lead to their own hurt and the detriment of others.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping healthy confidences and being loyal to friends, but anything done to excess is harmful. The balance that comes with maturity lets us know that divulging confidences that are character or life-saving is the right thing to do.
God also never intends for us to keep things away from Him. When King Hezekiah received the news that the King of Assyria was breathing down his neck, look at his reaction:
- And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. Then Hezekiah prayed to the LORD, saying “…You are God, You alone… Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see… Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD, You alone” Isaiah 37:14-20 (NKJ).
In essence, Hezekiah “told on” his enemies. He realized the problem was much too big to handle on his own so he went running to his heavenly Daddy and spilled his guts about the issue. He was worried; he was scared; he knew the odds were against him, so he “told.”
Be a tattletale before God. Take everything that troubles you directly to Him before you talk with anyone else. Lay out your case. After all, you might as well because “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” Hebrews 4:13 (NKJ). Just tell it all, and watch God work.
©2015 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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