“The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body” (Proverbs 18:8, English Standard Version).
Everyone probably has a favorite food—that special something we allow ourselves as a treat. I have two: chocolate and ice cream. Combine them together and yum! Tasty! At that moment, calories don’t matter. That smooth, silky taste in my mouth is irresistible. The consequences—stepping on the scale and watching the numbers climb higher—come later.
Have you ever thought about hearing gossip being the same as eating your favorite delicacy? Ummm . . . so delicious. Sometimes (often?) we seem to enjoy hearing those delicious morsels, usually delivered in a whispered voice. It’s especially delicious if it hasn’t become widely known. A secret. Yum. No, we would never admit we enjoy gossip, but isn’t that what Proverbs 18:8 is saying?
When someone comes to you with a juicy tale, ask yourself a few questions:
- What is their motive in telling me this?
- How many people will this gossip harm?
- How do I know if it’s true, a mixture of fact and fiction, or just plain false?
- Would the gossiper be willing to go directly to that person to check the facts?
- Has this person also gossiped about me?
I love one translation of Proverbs 20:19. “The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip; avoid someone with a big mouth” (Christian Standard Bible). Now that’s some very plain advice!
If we want to chew on a delicious morsel, how about something like this?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8, ESV).
Prayer: Lord, help me to guard my tongue each day so I do not cause harm to others by the words I speak. Let my words be positive so I can build up and not tear down another’s reputation. Instead of repeating anything negative I hear, help me to instead make it a matter of prayer. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, Lord (Psalm 19:14).