Talebearers Prov. 11:13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
These are some of the most despicable people in Christianity – they are the gossips – they carry concealed weapons without a permit – their weapon is their tongue – a 6” tongue can drop a 6’ man quicker and more proficiently than a knock out punch from a heavy weight boxer – Sam Jones said, “Some people have such long tongues, they can sit in the living room and lick the skillet in the kitchen.”
Two things that we readily understand about talebearers from the text is that they reveal secrets and they are not faithful – as for the secrets, that’s what they thrive on – they want some scuttle butt that no one else knows and then they want to be the first to spread the news [kind of like the media, they want the scoop] – they are not faithful – if they were faithful, they would conceal what they know that might be damaging to someone else if it got out – you would never NEVER want to take a talebearer into confidence [Prov 20:19] – they’ll burn you – we heard a rumor of a fellow in a church who was unfaithful to his wife – when we heard that we prayed – when he came to me he said, I guess you KNOW what I’m doing.” I said, “No I don’t KNOW what you are doing; I have heard some things but I disregarded them.” He and I talked and prayed together and within a week he broke it off, reconciled with his wife [a good woman], and repented to his church – he didn’t want a gossip he wanted someone who could keep it to himself and help.
Here are some things to remember about talebearers in case you are one, you know one or you have thought about becoming one:
You are violating a direct command of the Lord – Lev 19:16, you say that’s Old Testament – well, you tithe and that’s Old Testament, Lev 27:30; you don’t have tattoos and that’s Old Testament, Lev 19:28; so why are you justified when you run your mouth? You aren’t – there have been more churches that have split as a result of this one sin than any other known to man – Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for gossiping, 1 Cor 1:11 – he called them carnal.
You are wounding the person about whom you are talking, though the wounds are invisible – Prov 18:8 – it’s just like stabbing them in the gut – and this is absolutely contrary to everything in the New Testament, Eph 4:31-32, 1 Jn 4:20-21 – and what’s worse, the stories are always embellished and distorted so that the “truth” [what little there was when you started the rumor] is hard to find once the “news” has run its course.
You are the cause of strife and contention – Prov 26:20-21 – you are fueling the fire – the trouble would die down if you would just hush – how do you know what God is planning to do with the person you so despise – you don’t – what you are doing is stirring the pot to keep the noise about them running until you can ruin them and get them out of the church.
You are a busybody and your sin is listed with murder, theft and evil – 1 Pet 4:15 – you say “I wouldn’t ever murder anyone” – you are just like a murderer – “I would never steal anything” – you are a hypocrite [v. 9] because you are stealing their reputation [what’s left of it] – “I am not evil” – just as wicked as the person about whom you are gossiping and maybe more so because you are speaking in direct violation of God’s words – and there is a day of accountability, 2 Cor 5:10.
By the way, if you are the listener, you are guilty, too – 2 Thes 3:11-14 – you are to have no company with a gossiper – the problem goes away if there is no one around to listen to the gossip.