Sunday, April 19, 2015

Self Disclosure

Our world is increasingly obsessed with the sharing of personal information, much of which hardly bears repeating. The following, from February 1, 2006 is on that very topic.

My eighth grade classes talked about the apostle John today. We study the Gospel of Luke both semesters- it takes the entire year to make it through. Our lesson came from chapter nine. In the space of six verses, John got chewed out twice by Jesus. In verse 49, John informs the Lord of an unknown man casting out evil spirits by invoking the name of Jesus. He went on to say they had tried to prohibit the man from doing so. The Son of God chastises him for his erroneous view of fellowship. The next paragraph tells the story in which Jesus is rejected in a Samaritan village. John and his brother James respond by asking permission to destroy the town with a miracle, fire from heaven. Again, the leader of the Twelve rebukes John for the way he handles the situation. It looks in the separate incidents that John was jealous of the position he and the others held, being in the inner circle of the teacher from Nazareth. And what was Jesus speaking about immediately preceding these events? Humility, of course! I find something interesting about these circumstances. John wrote five books of the New Testament and in none of the five are these occurrences mentioned. I know he wrote to a different audience and for a different purpose than the other Gospel authors but to me it is curious...and much like the rest of us. The Holy Spirit guided the men who penned the scriptures but I believe their personalities also shine through. Would I have included a chastisement from Jesus had I been the writer? There is a similar omission by Peter. In the story of the Transfiguration, Peter is the only person present whose words are recorded while the amazing spectacle unfolds; not Jesus, Moses, Elijah, or the other two apostles. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record a voice from the clouds declaring, "This is my Son, whom I love: with him I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM." (My emphasis on the final words) In his second epistle, Peter recounts the dramatic experience and quotes the heavenly voice... almost. He leaves out the LISTEN TO HIM! conclusion which, it seems to me, was directed solely at him. Maybe he was sheepish about the scenario which showed his maturity in spasms of growth and pratfalls. He was a pretty special disciple. I tell my students if they ever have a test answer which calls for a name and they aren't sure, go with Peter. He was constantly, along with John, in the limelight. That light was not always complimentary.

One of my faithful readers is Mark Hall, one of our elders at the Westbury church of Christ. Several times, Mark has commented that I disclose things about myself that he would keep under wraps. That is a perceptive insight. I teach by telling stories. Many of the stories, naturally, have me as the principle character. I have found the kids relate more to the examples where I mess up than the ones where I succeed. Over time, I have become comfortable telling tales about myself and it has become part of my classroom technique. By extension, it has bled over into my writings. But, there is a point past which I will not go. There are details kids should not know and have no business knowing. More importantly, I WOULD BE EXTREMELY EMBARRASSED if I ever let them slip. Fortunately, I'm the only one who knows where that invisible line is drawn, beyond which lies mortification and humiliation. The Lord knows that territory, unexplored by others, very well. I think we'll keep it to ourselves! I'm just following in the footsteps of Peter and John.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Men talk but rarely about anything personal. Female friendships, particularly close friendships, are usually based on self-disclosure or on talking about intimate aspects of their lives."
Bettina Arndt

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


hallmark said...

I admire your willingness to share yourself. All people have a lot to learn from one another's self disclosures including our mistakes and foibles. Thanks for sharing Captain Hawley.

Jon said...

sorry coach for missing it.... when would you like me to make up my work

Jeanette Levellie said...

You are so right! Women feel safer with other women who don't pretend to be perfect. This is also why we like preachers who tell on themselves--we can relate, and we know they understand us.

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

This is great writing! I really appreciate your style. Like you, I tend to try and figure out the rest of the story. Glad you are honest, there are way too many self-help books out there. I feel the same. When I read this I had to laugh. Great insight.

The Witty Patriot said...

Sometimes I am downright annoyed with Social networks. Why? Because people use it as a moment by moment update to their community about their lackluster lives.
It's not that I dislike you for telling me you found a bone fragment in your tuna today, or that you are going to Wal-mart in two hours, but your life daily activities are not important to me. Who are you really?

Most of the time, things like FB and texting, Twitter and email keep us from having personal relationships with people. We become so accustomed to being surface people that even at church and in relationships where accountability is important, we waste our time revealing only the minor details and not the real us.

SO when I come across a blog or find a person on Facebook that is willing to be real, I love that and I respect that person much more than ther person who tried to seem to have it all together. They aren't kidding anyone. We all know that just before you bakes your chicken pot pie, you screamed at your kids. We are human and we are allowed to be real, but we find more comfort in being fake convincing ourselves that we have everyone fooled.
Thank you for not being one of those people. We can only learn and grow with each other when we're honest. Lies beget lies and soon you have a whole community of people who are too afraid to be normal-just the way God made us!