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A WikiLeak world

Even with the snow I’m sure few of you have missed the steady news concerning the website WikiLeaks. There have been revelations about topics as far apart as China’s thoughts on North Korea, the Vatican’s reaction to the Irish abuse inquiry and many others.

Some information it seems downright irresponsible to leak, some just embarrassing. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which gathers all this information and makes it publicly available, says that it aims to create a culture of honesty:

“WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business, and all CEOs should be encouraged by this… In the struggle between open and honest companies and dishonest and closed companies, we’re creating a tremendous reputational tax on the unethical companies.”

That sounds a great idea, if only a tad naïve—how long will it be before false leaks are faked to bring down honest companies, or to incite international difficulties?

There’s something intriguing about knowing what was said behind closed doors at the Vatican, or in embassy buildings. We like to know what goes on in secret, especially if it concerns us. There is such a lack of integrity in our society that what is said in public is vastly different from what is said in private. We say one thing to people’s faces, and another behind their backs. How great it would be to know exactly what was said just after we had turned away. That’s the WikiLeaks moment.

And yet, as our politicians are always finding out, it’s far harder to play this game. If you are a person of integrity you don’t need to remember what you said and to whom, because it’s what you’ll say again. However, if you are in the habit of saying one thing in public and another in private you have to remember all of it, and keep it tightly managed. In a WikiLeaks world, one slip and you’re gone.

All of this is a reminder of the God who sees what is done in private as well as public, and of a day when everything done and said in secret will be broadcast before all mankind. On that day we all will have to answer for everything we have said and done, for our hypocrisy and two-facedness. On that day it will also be ‘one slip and you’re gone’. Now is not the time to try to hide our guilt before God, or to try harder to be ‘decent’. We need to own up to our guilt and seek his forgiveness. And then we need to ask him to make us into men and women of integrity.