27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.
28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.
Know When to Stop
There are those who feel that they just have to know. If they sniff out that there is more to a story, they will dig in the dirt until they find it. Sometimes such people unearth destructive truths that are best left undisturbed. I am thinking of situations like Jean Valjean. In Les Miserables he has reformed his life, but a persistent law officer wants to dig up a past that he has left behind.
Also, there are those in real life who would rather know everything than show discernment. In fact, there is a misconception that truly romantic couples tell each other every thought. In a perfect world there are no faults to be known, in our flawed world our insecurities mean that we can only accept so much truth about an individual. On days when they think we are fat, disagreeable, or obnoxious it is probably better that we are unaware of it until that day has passed.
- What is it not good to do?
- Why is gossip or inside information like honey?
- How can too much information harm a relationship?
- When a person starts to reveal something, do you have to have them reveal the rest or can you let them stop short?
- How could you discern whether you truly need to know more information about a topic or person?
If a person begins to reveal something to another person, that is the start of a relationship. It doesn’t have to be very personal details, but subtle things that clue us in on who that person is, what they believe in, or where they are from. Sometimes people reveal things to us because they need help or are in a tough situation.
Some people believe that if someone wants to tell them something they will, and that it is unwise to ask people to reveal information. I believe in some circumstances this reactive approach is dangerous.
One way for me to discern whether I truly need to know information is by looking at a persons communication signals. A smile (or lack thereof), facial expressions and gestures can indicate to a person if they should press on or back off. I think God wants us to step in and press on if the matter in question is being handled the wrong way or is about to go in the wrong direction. An extreme example would be if a married woman or man was contemplating dinner and a movie with an old boyfriend or girlfriend. If I was in this situation, I would ask the other person for more details because the potential consequences are hefty.