19 ¶ He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
The internet has opened all sorts of new ways for people to gossip and be talebearers. We constantly have a flow of unproven and farfetched conspiracy theories, emails that contain nothing but lies, and statements of “fact” that can usually be traced to one source generating hundreds of copycats. Websites like ‘Snopes’ and ‘Fact Check’ are set up to detect lies, if they themselves aren’t biased and repeating lies. Who can say for sure?
Two types of people are listed here, the talebearer and the flatterer. Where there is one there is usually the other. It’s best to avoid them and not to get involved with people like who like to tell the secrets of other people as well as those who flatter you to get such information in the first place. Talebearers are gossips and this is something that the God who created you doesn’t approve of at all.
Talebearers hurt people.
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
They cause strife and conflict.
Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
This is a problem for women who have too much free time on their hands and no constructive way to use it for God.
1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
In fact, all of us, men and women, can be found in this fault. ‘Busybody’ carries with it not only the implication of sticking our nose in other people’s business but also “speaking things which they ought not.”
2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
Because of talebearers it is best never to say anything in private to someone you do not absolutely trust by experience that you don’t want spread around. I myself have been asked my opinion in an email of someone, which when I gave it, I found that it was immediately offered to that person. The person who asked me the question, while a relative, was certainly no friend to me. So, it is always best to speak very guardedly in private because you don’t know where that bird is going to fly.
One of the supposed acceptable ways to bear tales, to tell the secrets of others, in Christian circles, is to ask for prayer for them, and then reveal your so called concern. It is best to ask for an unspoken request unless that person has asked public prayer. God knows who they are and what they need. Pray for them in private.
The flatterer, as well, can not be trusted. When you want to praise someone a “well done” or “I got a lot out of that” or “thanks for sharing that”, something simple and to the point is good. Manipulators will try to use your vanity or hunger for approval to get you to do what they want. Beware of them. Don’t meddle with or get involved with them.
If you yourself can’t be trusted to not spread someone else’s business around or if you use flattery to manipulate people, you’re simply evil. Anyone who knows you should want to have nothing to do with you. You need to repent, change your mind, and do a “180” on your sin. Ask Christ for forgiveness and a change of heart and behavior, remembering that since God knows your heart you can’t fake him out like you do simple people around you.
Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. 9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.