Stomach Aches

Proverbs 18: 8, "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the inner most part of the belly." (KJV)

Have you ever over heard someone talking about you behind your back and your stomach seemed to have a knot in it? Even five hours later you still felt that rock in the pit of your stomach. You felt a loss of trust, friendship, or even tremendous pain as a secret was let out. I have a stomach ache and heart ache while writing this. This topic digs up deep wounds, because those wounds go real deep.

A talebearer is someone who gossips. Sometimes the gossip is false and sometimes it's true. I'm not sure which is worse, to know someone is spreading lies about you, or is telling the bare truth about you. Either way the verse is true, the words of a talebearer do go down into the inner most parts of the belly.

A talebearer reveals secrets, but a friend, someone who has a faithful spirit, will keep it concealed. A true friend will not utter the secrets of a friend. Nor will they speak the secrets of anyone they know. Let us all seek to have a faithful spirit and conceal a matter that could bring harm to another person.

Proverbs 11: 13, "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter." (KJV)

I'm not talking about keeping a murder a secret, or a child being wrongly touched, or when a person steals, but I'm talking about respecting another person's privacy. No one is perfect, but we don't have to wave around someone else's dirty laundry. Each of us have our own washing machine (Or we use the one at the laundry mat) and we are each entitled to clean our own laundry. The Lord knows that I have plenty of my own laundry to do. With four children I couldn't possibly have time to do anyone else's laundry.

I think about Mrs. Duggar and her 19 children, and I couldn't possibly imagine her having a desire to do someone else's laundry. Could you just imagine doing all her laundry PLUS your own? No thank you! Children's clothes become soiled as they play in the yard, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and play with finger paint. My husband, when he's working on painting a house, can come home at the end of the day and have quite an odor about his work clothes. (No disrespect intended) and if I were to wave his soiled shirt in the air in front of a group of people I don't think they'd be too pleased with me.

So why is it that when a talebearer bares bad news, we stand around huddled in groups and breathe it all in? This is something we must guard ourselves against.

Proverbs 12:10, "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. " (KJV)

So let's ask ourselves a few questions...

1. When you hear someone talebearing (gossiping) why are you taking part in it by listening to it? Do you have harboring feelings against that person? Are you desiring to know the dirt in that person's laundry? Are you inhaling every odor of the vicious conversation? Proverbs 12:10 explains that it's hatred that stirreth up strifes. So why is this person angry at the person they are talking about? Why are you listening to it?

2. Can you pinpoint the exact cause for your desire to listen to the fables? Whether they are true or not, can you resist by walking away? Can you speak up in defense for the person?

3. Where are you in your relationship with our Lord Jesus? Has it been a while since you had a daily relationship with him? Try asking the Lord what areas of your heart need tending to.

Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (KJV)

Here are a few tips to dealing with a talebearer:

1. First of all, BITE YOUR TONGUE! You MUST resist saying anything that will contribute to the conversation.

2. Depending upon the situation, you may choose to simply walk away. Then pray that the Lord guard your thoughts and tongue so as not to repeat the matter. Memorize Proverbs 11:13.

3. With wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit, you can quickly change the conversation to another topic. Don't worry about 'interrupting' you're doing God's work to sway the conversation into another direction.

4. If changing the topic doesn't seem to work after a couple of attempts make it clear that you do no with for the conversation top continue. You can use one of these phrases, "I'll bet this is information that we don't need to know, it may be best that you not tell us anymore." "I'd rather not know about this, let's change the subject." You can offer to help them with the turmoil they're in by saying, "How about if we go talk to that person together about it and make sure it gets settled?"

5. Maybe they just need a hug. If they don't accept love from you, they may not be ready to give or accept love from anyone else either. Sometimes it's then best to leave them be and let them face God with it on their own.

Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to an evangelist who travels to bring the gospel to those in need of our Savior. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.

3 *click here* to dialogue with us:

Vicki at: May 23, 2008 at 6:44 AM said...

Lisa - Funny thing. I was involved in some workplace gossip turned awry. It ended up with some serious allegations against higher ups and I felt the need to tell the authority over the matter. Unfortunatley it wasnt handled very professionally in my case, and some lies were strewn in, I fear that I possibly may have added to the fire myself by simply not remembering accuratley.. the very day after this was "settled" (or not actually) I ended up with a very bad stomach bug. How appropriate is your post. If I did somehow engage in gossip and possibly lies (advertantly or inadvertantly) I am seeking the Lord's forgiveness, and all parties involved to forgive me for my indisgression. Gossip is such a viscious thing and you are so right - it will tear everyone involved faster from within than outside. Great Devotion and just what I needed.

{ Sisterlisa } at: May 23, 2008 at 9:20 AM said...

Thank you for your comment Vicki, I have also been hurt by gossip. Even listening hurts. I'm glad the Lord used me to help you. ((hugs))

{ Wendy } at: May 29, 2008 at 12:54 PM said...

What a great article. One of the reasons I had peace with quitting my job was the enormous amount of gossip that went on throughout the rooms of the (childcare) center. People were always discontent with something for some reason, and always felt the need to talk about it to whoever would listen. It was almost impossible to just "work" without gossip coming up in conversation. That was the worst part of the job, everything else I loved, but that alone was enough to take my peace with working out of the home away.

Share SLF