"The Words of a Talebearer"

     The wisdom writer wrote, "A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly" (Proverbs 18:7-8). Harsh and destructive words can hurt us to our inner core. This is especially true if those words come from someone we love and admire. Everyone has experienced the hurt of gossip and the harmful effects of tale bearing. Therefore, we must do all we can to never utter words of gossip.
    Gossip is defined as, "to utter nonsense, talk idly, to make empty charges." The one who gossips always seeks to tear down the one about whom he speaks and never seeks to build up anyone. The tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told.
    We must make sure that we chose our words carefully. Jesus said, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37). Gossip is never acceptable and anyone who speaks such must give an account of his words. God desires truth and commands that the truth always be spoken. Gossip never seeks to bring truth into a situation rather it seeks to destroy the character of the one in the situation.
    How does one overcome the temptation to gossip? Paul wrote, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8). One must focus his mind on things that are honest, holy, and godly (Romans 12:1-2). Furthermore, he must purify his heart. Jesus said "the good man out of good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good" (Luke 6:45). A pure heart will seek and see God (Matthew 5:8). And one must put away idleness. He who has no business to which he must attend often does a thorough job of attending to the business of others. Jesus said, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:37-38). If we are busy doing the Lord's work we will not have time to speak idle words.


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