Proverbs 26:22 KJV
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Talebearing usually involves slander, and slander feeds contention the same way wood feeds a fire. A slanderer uses falsehood to defame a reputation, which engenders conflict.
Talebearing is the direct result of unresolved envy, jealousy, anger, greed, and every other spiritual poison. The consequence of talebearing is spiritual and physical destruction if left unrepentant. (Numbers 16:31-35)
The Holy Bible teaches a basic principle taught of the LORD concerning that most vile of offenders, ‘the tongue.’ “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31). “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21).
Being a false witness not only concerns directly lying to one another but also slandering one another with malicious reports or what is commonly known as gossiping. “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.” (Exodus 23:1)
The book of James says, “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be (James 3:5-10).
Sadly, nowadays gossiping has gone international with the help of the World Wide Web (www). It appears that it is no big thing to slander a brother or sister in the Lord half way across the world even if they don’t know them. They sit anonymously tweeting, facebooking, blogging…Like in the Old Testament when the wise sat in the gate to discuss the matters of the people, these so-called internet wise guys are just as wrong as those at the gate were about King David. This deceitful practice of slanderous gossip isn’t confined to a certain few, but is applicable from Princes to drunkards. “They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.” (Psalm 69:12)
A juicy tale seems so sweet on the tongue, yet as it works its way deeper, it becomes bitter and harmful. We often have the mistaken notion that if we emphasize something bad about another, it will make us look better. Scripturally, the opposite is true. 1 Corinthians 12:26 teaches us that if one member suffers, all the parts share the suffering. Like a boomerang, our weapon against our brother will eventually return to smack us.
The trader in gossip suffers as much as the victim. Trading in gossip appears analogous to contracting a severe communicable disease, like cancer, which, if not arrested, could cost us our eternal life. The effects upon the gossiper’s character are initially unnoticeable, but the symptoms gradually worsen until the talebearer becomes engulfed in the paroxysms of bitterness and hatred.
As a Christian, beware of being a talebearer and associating with one. Especially beware of whispering against a servant of God!!
Nehemiah was slanderously attacked and maliciously spoken about by Tobiah (Nehemiah 6). These whisperers (Proverbs 16:28) gossiped behind the back of the faithful servant of God to destroy the works of God through Nehemiah.
My fellow Christians, the talebearer in a living church of God, is most damaging. We must do everything possible to put an end to talebearing in the church! When it comes to talebearers, their “mouths must be stopped” (Titus 1:11). First of all, we must not be willing listeners to rumors. Talebearing would come to an end if those that rightfully detest talebearing would refuse to listen to it. Second, we must not try to sweep talebearing under the carpet or just hope that it will die out or go away. Talebearers cause strife (Proverbs 26:20), so they must be stopped. Ignoring tales does not make them go away or lose their appeal to the uninformed or those that love to hear about other’s mishaps.
The slanderous talebearer should think soberly about himself and the whispering campaign in which he is embarking upon. The whispering Christian is NOT led by the Holy Spirit, but is used by Satan. The talebearer is being led by what is called a ‘familiar spirit’ Isaiah 29:4. The talebearer does not realize the wiles of the devil, and when he gossips and whispers against another saint, not only is he consulting with the ‘familiar spirit’ but is promoting the devils empire!
Satan must delight to hear the talebearing that abounds in some places. God forbid that it should once be named among us (Ephesians 5:3). May God help us to maintain a heart that, out of love, “rejoiceth in the truth,” not in unfounded reports or even in factual information about a person or the church’s mishaps (1 Corinthians 13:6). “Are you a talebearer?” I pray that each of us can honestly say, “NO”. Remain blessed, In Jesus Name. Amen.
Scripture of the day: And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. ~ 1 Timothy 5:13 KJV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
The Living Word Ministries Inc.
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