Silence the Strife: Talebearing and Its Consequences

Proverbs 26:20
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

Where there is strife, there is ALWAYS a problem with the tongue. It is what we say to each other, in what tone of voice, and with what attitude we speak that determines the outcome of every conversation. The truth is, we can choose how we want the conversation to end by how carefully we choose and speak our words! It is too easy to get into trouble in this area, isn’t it? We might as well admit that all too often we contribute more negativity into a conversation many times than we should. Words are like seeds because what is planted will be harvested. Please notice that strife and talebearing are compared to fire and wood. Just as wood is fuel for the fire, so talebearing is fuel for strife!

I honestly believe that some people just live for drama. If they’re not stirring something up, they’re not happy. They’re just looking for a spark or a flame they can throw a little fuel on just to see how high they can get the flames to rise! A good lesson to learn here is this…when someone attempts to throw fuel on your fire, just put them on ignore! It won’t take long for them to shut up because they’re not getting what they want, which is a bigger fire! They’ll eventually find someone else to fire up if you’ll ignore them long enough. It’s when we give them what they want, which is drama, that we get into trouble and take it way too far. Often this happens before we take the time to think, leaving only permanent damage in the aftermath of it all.

Want to know what would fix most problems in our churches today? If only there were no talebearers! Talebearers not only bear the tales, but they also bear the strife that goes along with them. Some tales are factually truthful, and some are flat out lies; either way, they should have never been uttered by the talebearer because their intentions are not to build up but to tear down. Since when was it okay to tell all you know about someone as long as it’s the truth? Proverbs 25:2a says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing…” Could it be that the glory of the Lord has departed from many a church because too many things were openly discussed rather than concealed? Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Too bad so many are more anxious to spread the gossip than the Gospel. Think about it!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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