But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick (emphasis added). (Philippians 2:25-26)
Ephaphroditus (who gets high praise from Paul) was distressed because his good friends heard he was sick. The simplest interpretation is that he didn’t want them to worry about him. I did some research, and that seems to be the consensus of scholars; I’m not saying anything new. But I am thinking things that are fresh to me- things like this: sometimes letting people be in the dark is the loving thing to do. There are times when someone has enough burdens to bear for one moment, and adding mine would be crushing. Other times, the change in dynamics that can occur when things are vulnerably shared can actually undermine community.
I want to hold on to the good things I’ve heard and read about humble openness and honesty AND I want to think carefully about what receiving my words will be like for others, how my words will ripple.