Proverbs 26

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“The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body” (Proverbs 26:22 NKJV).

October 30, 2017

Do you know a “talebearer?” They always know the latest gossip and rumor. They speak with a wink and a whisper. Their words never elevate your estimation of others, but always tend towards disunity and strife. Yet, their news seems irresistible to the ears, like the “tasty” morsels of Turkish Delight were to Edmund’s stomach. Their words “go down” sweet, but sour your heart towards others. If you know a talebearer, rebuke them. And if they continue, avoid them.

“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12 NKJV).

October 25, 2017

What does it mean to be wise in your own eyes? It means that you think your know better than the Lord. Your “wisdom” is just as good as His or anyone else’s. Ironically, this is the worse kind of foolishness. For the truly wise man admits his limited knowledge and is always teachable. But the fool is a know-it-all that will not listen to counsel. Wisdom is more than knowledge. It is more than intellect. Wisdom is the knowledge and fear of God put into practice. The one who knows and fears the Lord accepts his own insufficient wisdom. The truly wise know that they don’t know all.

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases” (Proverbs 26:20 ESV)

October 29, 2016

The fiery strife of gossip and intrigue quickly goes out when the wicked “whisperer” is removed. Contentious talebearers must be treated as incendiaries. We must refuse to listen to their gossip, correcting them for such talk. And if they refuse to stop such inflammatory backbiting, we must break fellowship with them. Strife soon ceases and peace follows when those who fuel quarreling with their words are silent.

“He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17 NKJV)

October 27, 2015

Have you ever tried separating fighting dogs? Chances are even your own dog will accidentally bite you. You may have meant to be the peacemaker, but now you’re part of the dog fight. Similarly, be careful about “meddling” in someone else’s quarrel. Unsolicited advice is rarely welcome. Of course, there are times when intervention is required, as when a weaker party is being bullied or at risk of being harmed. Even in this, the parable provides a wise caution. Entering the fray may mean that both combatants turn on you. Do so with your eyes wide open. The Bible does teach “blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt.5:9). But be aware that peacemakers are often bitten by the ones they sought to help.

“A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin” (Proverbs 26:28)

November 3, 2011

We underestimate the power of the tongue. Poor communication is often the core of disunity in the home, the church and in the workplace. Ask God to tame your tongue (James 3). Ask yourself whether your words are Spirit-filled or from the flesh. Words have power.