“A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends” (Proverbs 16:28).
Gossip, there is no shortage if it these days. Television, social media, and other forms of technology has rapidly increased the volume and velocity of gossip. Even the whisperer speaks loud and bold in the face of a desensitized generation. What was once considered a shameful act done in dark corners at the rebuke of many is now a trending norm.
It is fascinating to see and hear what absorbs so much of our time on the television and in social media. We spend countless time listening to and spreading gossip and very little time advocating for the afflicted, the less fortunate, the hungry, and those affected by the many natural disasters around the globe in the past weeks and months. it is shameful that we are more aware of what is taking place in Hollywood than Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, India, etc. We do more to press others to speak about social issues than to actually get our hands dirty in trying to solve them.
The national dialogue is a soap opera and we can’t seem to pull ourselves away from it. Our society has become one huge intertwined ball of lies, deceit, pride, greed, and slander. Caught in all if it is a sliver of righteousness that is barely recognizable and only to the righteous. The wise King Solomon warns us that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). We have become the epitome of pride and purveyors of haughty spirits; the fall is imminent.
What then is next for this generation? Happy is he who trusts in the Lord (Proverbs 16:20b). Where do you put your trust and in whom does your hope reside. America’s political dialogue is such that it is difficult to tell that it truly is, as it claims to be, a Christian nation. We (the church) have endorsed, gossip, unrighteousness, slander, lies, hatred, and strife because we think it will advance our “religious agenda”. Even a worthy cause can elicit the most sinful of behaviors. How can we endorse perversity and expect a righteous outcome? King Solomon also warns us that “A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends” (Proverbs 16:28).
James (3:8) says “No man can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison”. When we put our hopes in man we make the ultimate error and when we enter into a relationship with another, thinking we can change them, we seal our own demise. It is like marrying a murderer thinking that we can change them, only to become a victim of their insatiable appetite for evil.
What do we then have to say for ourselves? Are we free from guilt or complicit in the current political and social reality? Solomon also writes that “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue” (Proverbs 17:4). Have you bought into the lies of an unrighteous person and eagerly listen and share in such a person’s lies? Is it that evildoers lie or that those who lie are evil?
Consider this last question carefully. Lying has become such an acceptable part of our dialogue that we don’t seem to give it it’s due title; “evil”. Yes, a person who lies is evil because “lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 12:22a). We are in danger of, if not caught up in being complicit with evil. “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15).
So whether you are a whisperer or one who eagerly listen to the whisperer, you participate in sin and shame. Let us try not to justify ourselves with excuses and simply hold fast to the words of God. Stop gossiping and stop giving legitimacy to the one who gossips. Without an audience, the performer will cease to perform and without eager ears, the whisperer will stop gossiping. Do not become a victim to the evils of the tongue and the selfish desires of the heart. “An evil man seeks only rebellion; therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him” (Proverbs 17: 11).
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). The Hebrew word for safety is Yeshua (Jesus); seek Him and live! Run to Him and be safe!