Proverbs 11:13 –(HCSB) “A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.”
During the World Wars, before the age of GPS, satellite imagery, 3-D scanning, underwater photography and computer radar detection; when battleships and submarines used simple listening devices to figure out the locations of enemies; the decree given when danger was perceived was for the crew to go into radio silence. They would cut the engines and everyone would cease all unnecessary movement. Talking was replaced with hand signals because they knew that ‘loose lips’ could cause their location to be detected and the possible sinking of their ship.
Unnecessary talking can be extrapolated to also include the unneeded and unwarranted banter of gossip. If what we say does not edify, glorify, magnify or rectify a situation then chances are what we have to say never really needs to be said. There is a place of course for whimsical chatter often referred to as ‘girl talk’ or ‘barber shop heckling’; but when the words that we share reveal secrets that should not be disclosed; or expose truths that are not ours to bear witness to; then we are no longer involved in the art of conversation, but in the jaws of rumor and innuendoes.
Spreading gossip or even just talking to be heard can cause problems not only for the poor victims but also for us. It can tarnish our reputations and damage the trust that others place in us. If we open and spew out the details of what others have told to us in confidence; we might escalate a situation to a fever pitch and cause anger and resentment when the source of the leak is found. As the young generation now says…’snitches get stitches’.
Be careful also to not share too much of your own personal information with a ‘motor mouth’ friend. Fast talkers, who seem gregarious and really spirited, might be masked rumor-mills in hiding. When you talk to someone who openly tells you everything about themselves or others; chances are if they can’t be discerning about their own affairs, they surely will not keep yours either. God gave us two stereophonic ears but only one mouth. Listen more, speak less. Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a GREAT day. Be blessed! Dr. JoAnn