Proverbs 20:19 - Avoid Gossip and Related Misuse of the Tongue.
Proverbs 20:19 (NIV) A gossip betrays a
confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
Proverbs 20:19 (CWR) A gossip can never keep
a secret, so dont share confidences with a
person who talks too much.
Among the many ways we can use our words
to hurt others, three of them are backbiting,
gossip, and flattery.
The word used for backbite in Hebrew
means "to play the spy." It's a picture of someone
who collects clues and scraps of information
regarding a person's character and then relates the
information to anyone who will listen.
Gossip is more subtle because it can veil
itself in "acceptable" language. People will say,
"Have you heard?" or "I personally don't believe
it's true, but I did hear that...... Or, here is
one of my personal favorites: "I wouldn't
normally share this, but I know it won't go any
further. Keep this to yourself."
Of course, we Christians like to wrap
gossip in spiritual language: "I need to tell you
this about so-and-so so you can pray for them."
But how often do we really follow through and
make it a matter of prayer?
A more subtle misuse of the tongue is in
flattery. Flattery is just a fancy lie. It's when you
say something that is really not true to win a
person's favor, attention, or approval when you don't
mean what you said about him or her at all. A
good definition of gossip and flattery is this:
Gossip is saying behind a person's back what you
would never say to his or her face. Flattery is
saying to a person's face what you would never say
behind his or her back.
That is why James tells us, "If anyone
does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man,
able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:2).
That is a mark of true spirituality. [Every Day
with Jesus by Greg Laurie]
On Being Confidential
Be honest now, can you keep a secret?
When privileged information passes through one of
the gates of your senses, does it remain within
the walls of your mind, or is it only a matter
of time before a leak occurs? Do you respect a
person's trust or ignore it, either instantly or
The longer I live, the more I realize the
scarcity of people who can be fully trusted with
confidential information. And the longer I live, the more
I value those rare souls who fall into that
category! As a matter of fact, if I were asked to list
the essential characteristics that mark a person
of integrity and trust, the ability to maintain
confidences would rank very near the top.
A portion of the physician's Hippocratic
Oath comes to mind: "And whatsoever I shall see
or hear in the course of my profession ... if
it be what should not be published abroad, I
will never divulge, holding such things to be
We would be justly offended by a doctor
who treated our "holy secrets" lightly. The same
applies to a minister or an attorney, a counselor or
a parent, a teacher or a secretary, a
colleague or a friend. Especially a close friend.
Solomon wrote some strong words
concerning this subject in his Proverbs. Listen to his
wise counsel and remember it the next time you
are tempted to run off at the mouth:
1. When there are many words,
transgression is unavoidable, but he who
restrains his lips is wise. (10:19)
2. He who goes about as a talebearer
reveals secrets, but he who is
trustworthy conceals a matter. (11:13)
3. The one who guards his mouth
preserves his life; the one who opens
wide his lips comes to ruin. (13:3)
4. He who goes about as a slanderer
reveals secrets, therefore do not
associate with a gossip. (20:19)
In light of these scriptural admonitions,
I suggest we establish four practical ground
1. Whatever you're told in confidence,
do not repeat.
2. Whenever you're tempted to tell a
secret, do not yield.
3. Whomever you're talking about, do
4. However you're prone to disagree,
do not slander.
Be honest now, can you keep a secret?
A confidence kept gives others confidence
in you. [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
Proverbs 20:19 - Avoid Gossip:
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio (currently live):
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: