He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely. Proverbs 20:19
Once upon a time there were four preachers. All served different congregations in four different denominations. They felt it necessary to know one another, seeing they lived in the same town and were in the same line of work.
After getting together each week for a couple of months, they decided to take a day and go fishing. The day was amazing! Each of the men caught his limit, they laughed like none of them had in forever, and wouldn’t you know it? They let their hair down.
“Guys, this has been one of the best days of my life! Thanks a million,” one of them spoke up. “And I feel really comfortable with you guys…so I wonder if you all wouldn’t mind praying with me about a struggle I’ve been battling for some time?”
All the men nodded and chorused, “You bet!” So he poured out his heart. And a second chimed in his relief to finally have a group he could confide his struggles.
This went on for hours and all the men shared back and forth and talked freely and candidly until…the one who had shared very little looked as if he would be sick. “Buddy, you ok? You are among friends and there is nothing you face, feel, or fear we won’t understand. We are not here to judge you, but to stand with you, no matter what.”
At this, he sighed and wiped his brow. “That’s so good to know. Because my weakness is gossiping and I can’t wait to get home and tell everybody what happened here today!”
That joke is funny if you have never been the person who shared your heart in order to heal, only to find that the person you told had loose lips and did not understand confidentiality.
In cases of legality, we have an obligation to act appropriately, but most breaches of trust have nothing to do with broken laws…just lack of consideration of the damage tale-bearing can cause.
In all honesty, most of us have felt the blade of that double edged sword and have scars to prove. And today’s proverbial wisdom reminds us to keep our mouths shut about other folks affairs and be very sparse with whom we share our trials.
That’s what real friends are for!
Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths. Proverbs 20:19 The Message Bible