"A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends" Proverbs 16:28
There are times when whispering is good. When someone is in a public library and has something to say, people appreciate it when what is spoken is whispered. Spectators at a golf tournament know that it is impolite to talk loudly and therefore, whispering is the way to communicate.
But not all whispering is good.
Proverbs 16 speaks of a person who is known to be a whisperer. This individual is continually sliding next to someone and whispering, "Did you hear about what so-in-so did?" They love to pass along juicy gossip -- fact or fiction -- and they take pleasure in talking behind people's backs. If you are going to talk behind someone's back, you do not do it loudly or else you might get caught and confronted. So, what do you do? You whisper.
Sometimes people "whisper" (spread) lies. Other times we tend to "whisper" information that we do not know whether it is true or not. There are plenty of occasions where we could choose to say a kind word or just not say anything at all. Instead, all too often, we find ourselves "whispering."
"Can you believe what they did?"
"Can you believe what their son is doing?"
"Did you hear about the mess their daughter is in?"
"Do you want to hear what I heard about them?"
"I don't know if this is true or not, but someone said..."
The Bible gives us plenty of warnings about gossip
"Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered." Proverbs 11:13
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29
"For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder." 2 Corinthians 12:20
"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless." James 1:26
So the next time you find yourself needing to ask your spouse for a pen to use during the sermon to take notes, please whisper. If you are at a movie this weekend and need to borrow a couple of dollars from a friend for the concession stand, please whisper. However, the next time you are dying to pass along some bit of information that is not true or not helpful or just not necessary, resist the urge to whisper.
Sometimes the kindest thing you can say is to say nothing at all.
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