Proverbs 11: The matter with chatter

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.” – Proverbs 11:9

We all know the proverb which tells us that “the power of life and death are in the tongue” (prov: 18:21). However, not as many quote the better half of that verse…“and you shall eat the ‘fruit’ of it”.

In other words, speak falsely, speak discouragement, speak negativity and you shall receive it. But speak truth, speak hope, speak life and you shall receive that which you speak.

God takes the words of our mouth into serious consideration. Let’s take gossip for example.
You and I don’t take the sin of gossip as seriously as we should. I believe we would if we understood it better. Seems like a small sin when compared to others, but it is not a small sin to God (Rom. 1:28-32).

Random House College Dictionary defines gossip as:
“Idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others.”

The Hebrew word for “slander” simply means “bad report”.
The NT has two interesting words regarding this sin of the tongue.
a. Katalaleo (“slander”)
b. Psithuristas (“gossip”; KJV–“whisperers”)

Truthfully, the only difference between “gossip” and “slander” is one of degrees. Let’s suppose for a moment, you wanted to kill someone. There’s more than one way to do it. Take a shotgun, walk right up to them, announce that you’re going to shoot them, and then shoot. That’s slander. Or, you could take a rifle with a scope. Attach a silencer to it, hide yourself a safe distance away, kill them from long-distance. Never know what hit them. That’s gossip.

A careless  person can defame [“profane”] another merely by what he says. But the righteous person escapes the trap of gossip and slander through knowledge. The righteous understand that you cannot even ‘give ear’ to the poison of gossip/slander. Wisdom gives us the discernment to see the power and purposes moving behind the words. The hostile purposes masked by the words in the mouth of the wicked are seen through by the righteous, by virtue of the wisdom which God has taught them. This penetrating insight and discernment is our means of deliverance.


Mark the difference between the righteous
and the wicked.
See the wicked advancing under a sky growing more and more dark and threatening.
Now, see the righteous
moving on, with troubles receding like a cloud behind them…with sunshine breaking through like the dawn. Which ‘end’ would you prefer?

“Gem of the Day”:
“People of high intelligence talk about ideas. People of average intelligence talk about things. People of no intelligence talk about other people. Where are you in the lineup?”

“Choose this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house; we will serve the Lord.”

If it be Your will, silence the ungodly speech of those around me. But if they are not silenced, fill me with a love of truth to light the way through such darkness, that my spirit and life may not perish. For it is written “ They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”
(2 Thessalonians 10)

1. We do ‘right’  because we know we will ‘see His face’.
Psalm 11:7 
For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds.
The upright will see His face.”

2. God gives us victory despite betrayal
Psalm 41: 1-3 “Happy is one who cares for the poor; the Lord will save him in a day of adversity. The Lord will keep him and preserve him; he will be blessed in the land. You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies.”

3. God is our help even to the end of our days.
Psalm 71:17-18a “God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim Your wonderful works. Even when I am old and gray…”

4. Make a covenant with your ‘mouth’. Speak and sing of His faithfulness forever.
Psalm 101:1 “I will sing of faithful love and justice; I will sing praise to You, Lord.”

5. His Peace and Presence cause us to ‘rest’ and be satisfied as simply as a child.
Psalm 131:2 “…But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”


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