‘A talebearer reveals secrets.’ Proverbs 11:13 NKJV
When you gossip you’re like a loose cannon. Stop and try to imagine that. When a cannon is anchored and aimed in the right direction it can win the battle. But when it’s not, it can destroy everything in its path. And that’s what gossip does: ‘A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.’ The word ‘talebearer’ comes from the Hebrew word rakal, which means ‘to go about’; it’s likely derived from an old word meaning ‘merchant’. So a talebearer is someone who goes around peddling gossip! The story is told of a mother who was preparing dinner one evening when her little boy came running into the kitchen. ‘What has Mama’s little darling been doing all day?’ she asked. ‘I’ve been playing mailman,’ he replied. ‘Mailman?’ the mother wondered aloud. ‘How could you do that when you’ve no letters?’ He said, ‘Oh, I had a whole bunch of letters.’ Alarmed, she said, ‘What letters?’ Her son replied, ‘I found them all tied up with ribbon in an old trunk in the attic, and I put one in every mailbox on the street.’ Even when you don’t intend harm, your words can start a chain reaction that devastates people’s lives and drives wedges. That’s why the Bible says, ‘A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.’ (Proverbs 16:28 NKJV) Unless you’re sure that what you’re sharing in confidence will remain in confidence and result in good, don’t share it at all. And if you feel like you must talk to somebody, talk to the One who can do something about it—God!