20 ¶ Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. 21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
A talebearer will reveal anything you’ve said to them in private to the people you didn’t want to hear what you said. They will tell things about you that you didn’t even know they knew to other people. A talebearer is a gossip. Whereas a false witness makes things up about you a talebearer may be telling the truth but it is your business, not theirs, that they are telling.
Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
But, they can’t keep a fire going if there is no fuel so don’t be the wood for a talebearer’s effort to start trouble. Refuse to listen to them. Let them know with your demeanor, your looks, and your words that you aren’t going to play along. God wants you to discuss a person’s private business only with them and not to make it known to others.
Proverbs 25:9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
In these verses a talebearer is linked to a man of contention. A contentious man starts trouble. He even does good things out of a bad spirit.
Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
We can see how in the verse in Philippians how contentious people are linked with envy and strife and how in Proverbs they are linked with talebearers. We know that a talebearer will not only reveal your personal business but will misrepresent your intentions and your words. They constantly stir up trouble. Remove a talebearer from the congregation and you will remove much trouble. Sadly, some talebearers can make themselves an essential part of the church body and thereby split a church when they are revealed and exposed.
Proverbs 18:8 ¶ The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Don’t listen to a talebearer. Simply tell them you don’t want to be a part of their sin. Of course, then you’ll quickly become the object of their work for the Devil. But, refusing to hear them will be something that shows that you have an understanding of what it takes to be a Christian.