Confidentiality: An Aspect of Faithfulness

by Timothy Stoltzfus | November, 2009

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2.
In the biblical setting, a steward was the person to whom the head of the house or proprietor entrusted the management of affairs, and the care of receipts and expenditures. A steward could also be the manager of a farm or landed estate, the superintendent of the city’s finances, the treasurer of a city, or even the manager of a king’s treasury.
Clearly, a large responsibility is given to a steward; therefore, Paul asserts in 1 Corinthians 4:2 that such a person must be faithful, or trustworthy. Thayer defines faithful as one who has shown himself faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties; one who is worthy of trust, one that can be relied on.
Faithfulness engenders trust; a person who is faithful with little is trusted with more. The greater the faithfulness exemplified, the greater the trust extended. The converse is true as well: unfaithfulness results in loss of trust. To the degree that a person is unfaithful, to that degree trust is lost.
Christ knew the human heart, and His words clearly outline this lesson:

And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. Luke 19:17.

One aspect of faithfulness is maintaining confidentiality. A steward is privy to much information, and part of being faithful is keeping that information confidential. Put simply, confidentiality is ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access. Anabaptist Financial has been entrusted with not only the financial assets of our clients, but also with the proper handling of the confidential information accompanying those assets.
At Anabaptist Financial, we cultivate a culture of confidentiality. What is learned at AF stays at AF; it does not become suppertime conversation or after-church chitchat. We require each officer and employee to agree to our Confidentiality Policy, which, in addition to outlining internal procedures for handling client information, prohibits sharing personal information outside of the work arena. This aspect of our stewardship is taken seriously.
As a boy growing up, I remember someone commenting about a local bank: “I would never put my money there; if you do, everyone in town will know your account balance!” At one point, someone at that bank evidently breached confidentiality, and public relations in the community obviously suffered. At AF, we value the trust you extend to us, and have taken appropriate measures to guard that trust.
When a client calls with a question about his account, we ask for his account number. If for some reason a client does not have his account number available, we verify other personal information to confirm his identity.
Maintaining confidentiality includes the proper storage and security of client files and proprietary data. At Anabaptist Financial, we keep all physical data in a secure environment. In addition, we use appropriate procedures to back up our files to prevent data loss.
Keeping confidence is an inherent aspect of faithfulness, a measure of trustworthiness. Someone has noted that the supreme quality required in a steward is fidelity to his trust. How well are we doing? If you have any concerns or questions about confidentiality at AF, we want to hear from you.

 

"Confidentiality: An Aspect of Faithfulness"  from the November 2009 issue of Stewardship Connections, a publication of Anabaptist Financial. Reprinted with permission.