Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.   

Test your integrity or faithfulness. Can you keep a secret? Will you hide it from those not needing to know? Tattlers or gossips have no integrity – they do not have a faithful spirit. If they know damaging information about another, they must tell it, quickly and widely.

What God called talebearing here used to be called tattling or gossiping. Now it is called investigative reporting. Now it is entertainment. Newspapers, television, tabloids, and Internet sites feed on it. People read it with glee; they tingle with curiosity hearing it; they beg for more details, especially sexual ones; they cannot wait to repeat it to others.

If the least rumor or unsavory fact is found about a president’s personal life or family, it is spread far and wide and discussed to death. The same is true for business leaders, sports figures, and celebrities. The more negative the facts, that much more exciting to spread! This fascination with secrets is a sin and proves the perversity of a generation.

Family members, neighbors, office workers, and even some church members love to spread news of negative events in the lives of others. They say, “Did you know they are divorced? Have you heard the latest about him? Can you believe she did that?” And off go wicked lips and ears to discuss the private details of others that should be concealed.

This sin is an abomination to God, and He hates it. His holy ears know that spreading damaging news about others is to rape their reputations. Solomon taught here that good men with faithful spirits will not repeat private news they learn about others.

Physical rape is a horrible crime, and it should be punished severely. But talebearing may be worse, in that it can have greater consequences. Instead of hurting a person’s body for a few minutes or an emotional state for a while, it can leave permanent scars on a person’s reputation and character, the more valuable parts of a person. Consider it.

The heart of man is desperately wicked and will do anything it can to defame or injure others (Jer 17:9; Rom 3:13-18). One of the easiest ways to hurt another’s reputation is to spread private information that does not need to be told. So it is this sin that the proverb condemns.

Faithful men will hide private information they happen to learn. They will conceal such things; they will not repeat them to anyone. They will do all they can to protect the reputations of others, no matter what their personal feelings about the person might be. Such integrity and faithfulness makes a man great in the sight of God and men.

Guard your tongue, reader. Do not let it spread secrets that should be concealed. It does not matter at all whether the information is true or not. If the matter is not needed for the proper exercise of authority, then bury it. If the matter could hurt a person’s reputation, then bury it. If the matter is not uplifting or commending or helpful, then bury it.

How important is it to avoid this sin? The proverb here teaches that faithful men will not do it. Psalm 15:3 teach that a mark of eternal life is not doing it. Since God hates it and mentions it often in Scripture, all fathers must include it in their training (Eph 6:4). Great men and women, those called faithful and having integrity, work to protect others.

Jesus Christ is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11). He forgets the sins of His people forever (Heb 8:12). He would never reveal them, for it is His glory to cover offenses (Pr 25:2; Ps 103:10-12). It should be your pleasure to love others with the same compassion and commitment to protect them from damaging reports (Pr 10:12; 17:9; I Pet 4:8).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s