It has been a bad week for the billionaire, Dennis O’Brien. Two court cases went against him. Both cases had involved the revealing in public what he considered his private affairs. One was to do with his money the other his reputation. The courts thought otherwise.
The problem of being rich and famous is that you apparently cannot choose what elements of your affairs can be made public and what can remain concealed. It matters not if you choose to spend some money on good causes, if how you earned the money in the first place will not stand up to public scrutiny.
Some countries, Norway for instance, publish all the tax returns. They are accessible to anyone with a computer. This degree of transparency might send the shivers down our back but in an equitable society perhaps it’s a goal worth working towards.
In the meantime, we prise open details of “public figures” using the freedom of speech permitted in the Dial and the reporting of investigative journalists. The latter must tread a fine line between revealing confidential information and serving the public interest. This is an area where reputations, usually of those being reported on and occasionally the journalist, become tarnished.
Jesus spoke about lighting a lamp to dispel the darkness. But it did more than that; it revealed what had been hidden. “The secrets will be exposed and seen by all.” No doubt the judgement was in view but during this Gospel era the Gospel exposes the secret things (St Luke Chapter 8 verses 16 to 18). There is also listening involved. It is like the Psalmist’s comment ‘The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130).
In proclaiming the Gospel to the church at Corinth St Paul combines both word and light to pierce the darkness.
“God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”
(2 Corinthians Chapter 4 verse 6).
And with that light in our hearts we need have no anxieties about who sees our bank account or who might damage our reputation. By the grace of God and the faith He has given us in the work of Jesus Christ we may live our life here in the knowledge of His glory.