Pathways Through Proverbs
April 18, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 18
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Following Scripture Verses
- Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
- A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
- When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
- The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
- It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
- A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
- 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.
- He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
- The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
- The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.
- Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
- He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
- The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
- The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
- A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
- He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
- The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
- A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
- A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
- Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
- Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
- The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
- A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
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A talebearer is someone who slanders another individual. He runs from person to person whispering sordid stories about the activities of another. They may be true stories, but they are not told for the purpose of helping the individual being spoken about, but rather to hurt that person.
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In today's passage Solomon speaks about how devastating the activities of a talebearer are. People often fail to realize just how harmful their words can be. They might find them humorous, or perhaps they believe that they are passing on important information. However, the Scriptures say that they are wounds. Indeed, they are not flesh wounds, but deep cuts. They are not superficial, so that they can easily be recovered from, but they are deep, piercing down into a man's vital organs and causing him harm from which he may never recover.
A man might excuse himself by saying, "I would never say those things to the individual's face, so I am not hurting him." It is true that the person may not hear the words from your lips, but he will hear them eventually. If the words are wounds, as Solomon says, then the man has to have heard them somewhere. Here is the principle: assume that anything you say about someone will eventually be heard by that person. If you wouldn't say it to them, then don't say it about them.
It is important for us to check out motives before we speak. I need to ask myself why I am telling this story about an acquaintance before I tell it. Am I doing it out of a genuine desire to help the individual? Is my telling the third party really going to help? Or am I motivated by a desire to elevate myself, or get a good laugh at the expense of another?
Talebearing never helps, it always hurts. Be careful about what you say.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery