Keeping Secrets

October 7, 2007

By Janet Walgren 

I once heard of a boy who was sent to a meeting to spy on a group of men that wanted to take a person’s life. The boy was counseled not to take any oath of secrecy at the meeting. This was a heavy burden to be under. However, the boy complied, returned and reported, and the person’s life was saved.

As a child, I used to recite a poem whenever anyone would ask me, “Can you keep a secret?”

When people tell a secret,

I often wonder why,

If they themselves can’t keep it,

Why make me even try?

There are many types of secrets. Some secrets are just plain fun. Others are serious confidences when, if revealed, are capable of destroying someone or something. The destruction could be either good or bad depending on the nature of the secret and the guile of the person telling it. Why ruin a surprise party to celebrate a birthday? On the other hand, you would certainly want to ruin a surprise terrorist attack. So how does one properly respond to the question, “Can you keep a secret?” What do you teach your children?

Here are some rules to help one keep their integrity:


1.   Don’t make blind promises. The first line of response is the statement, “It depends!” Let the person asking the question know that you do not keep bad secrets, that you will sing like a canary if needed to protect lives or liberty, that you are totally unwilling to enter into a secret combination to protect wrong doers.


2.   Next ask, “Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true?” This question will eliminate secrets in the gossip category. The key to this question is getting a two out of three response. If it is kind and true… tell on! If it is necessary and true but not kind, negotiate a solution to enable the necessary part.


3.   Make your standards known: let them be a light to the world, and turn it on bright! If your standards are good and your integrity above question, the mere fact that this is known to the world will repel evil, peer pressure from the unrighteous seeks easy targets. Enemies of righteousness seek weak targets and work in darkness.


The world is being flooded with personal secrets, corporate secrets, political secrets and national secrets. Some of these secrets are good and necessary, some are dangerous secrets kept by groups forming secret combinations that destroy life, liberty and livelihood. You may think that a secret combination will never involve you in evil. You may have no intention to ever be involved, but you never know when danger will present itself on the doorstep of your sanctuary.


Have you ever been asked to lie, cheat or steal? Don’t wait until the stakes are high and your life, livelihood, liberty or the lives of your loved ones are at stake. Plant your stake in the ground and stand for truth and righteousness. Then, when evil surrounds you, no one will ever dare ask you, “Can you keep a secret?” Instead, they will do everything to keep you from discovering their secret’s awful truths.

Happiness is a choice

October 2, 2007

By Janet Walgren
I once heard of a man who, when asked how he was, would always answer, “If I were any better, I would be twins.” Then he had a very serious accident that would have killed most men. He fell from a very high tower while working. When he was in the emergency room, he realized that he needed to do something to save his life because the medical staff was acting like they were operating on a dead man. So, when the nurse barked out the question, “Are you allergic to anything?” He answered, “Yes, GRAVITY!” Everyone burst out laughing.  Then he told them that he was going to live and that they should start acting like it.

Have you ever considered how important choice is to your well being? I learned this about two years after my ex-husband disappeared with my sons. One evening I received a phone call that sounded like my little boys. They said, “Mommy, mommy, come find us. We are at the shopping center. Please come find us.” I tried to find out what shopping center, but to no avail, and then there was loud laughter as someone hung up the phone.

The call left me emotionally exhausted. I was a basket case, but then something happened. A voice in my head said, “Janet, he has hurt you as much as he can possibly hurt you unless you give him permission to hurt you more.” It was then that I realized that my sadness had no effect on my ex-husband or my sons. They didn’t know that I was crying at night. They were living their own lives; only my life was being ruined by my grief.

Since that time I have had several occasions to counsel others who were grieving due to a loss, a tragedy, or some kind of abuse. I listen… Then I ask them, “Do you want to be happy?” You see, you can’t always control what happens to you in life and you can’t change history. What you can do is change your attitude and choose to be happy. Happiness really is a choice.