A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. – Proverbs 11v13
We have a word for a talebearer today – a gossip. It is such an ugly word. One of the reasons that we hate to think about it is that is almost universal. What is it about gossip that makes it so – well - juicy?
Gossip feeds the ego. It makes us feel like we are special because we know something that someone else doesn’t know. Even worse, we know something that we shouldn’t know and feel privileged because we do.
One of the greatest problems with gossip is that we can betray friends and other people we care about with our gossip. That careless word escapes and it can never be brought back. There is no ‘delete’ button for the gossiping words we speak.
Strong’s Concordance uses ‘scandal monger’ for a literal translation of this Hebrew word. If that is accurate it pictures one who goes about marketing secrets for a profit. I think that is a good description of a gossip. It is a person who says something to make themselves look knowledgeable.
On the other hand we have a faithful spirit who knows how to keep their mouth shut. I wonder how many personal problems could be solved by the one simple matter of ‘concealing a matter’ instead of being a scandal monger?
I guess the test will be what we will do the next time we come across that juicy little bit of gossip. Are we going to be a scandal monger, or will we show a faithful spirit and keep our mouth shut?