Studies show that people who don’t reveal their deep thoughts and feelings tend to be less well-adjusted than those who do. But it is also true that those who freely talk about all their weaknesses are usually not very well-adjusted either. Men and women with healthy personalities do expose their personal lives, but they are selective in what they say.

This truth reminds me of the writings of the apostle Paul. Romans 7 is a good example of the extent to which we should disclose our inner conflicts and emotions. Having brought all his sins, fears, and disappointments to God, Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to record and compile some of his feelings for the benefit of others. And down through the ages, believers have been able to identify with the struggles, defeats, and victories of this great man who knew what it meant to be weak in himself but strong in the Lord. Notice, however, that Paul did not record his evil thoughts and deeds in detail. He always shared his inner life with discretion.

When it comes to giving ourselves away—telling about our own failings in order to help others—we need both courage and discernment. Courage enables us to be honest, and discernment keeps us from flaunting our sin.