Of Slander and Babblers

For Thursday, February 15, 2007
Proverbs 20:19

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

Be a realist when it comes to confiding in certain people. The proverb does not advise that we be careful how we tell something confidential to a "babbler." We are not given tips on how to assure that the babbler will not reveal our secrets. We are simply to stay away from him. We are to keep our secrets to ourselves when in his presence.

The motive of the babbler is irrelevant. He may want to hurt you or even think he is helping you. The result is the same. Information that should not have been passed on was and will cause hurt. Don't try to reform the babbler; don't try to come up with ways to make him keep your confidence. Keep silent.

You will find this simple counsel very helpful in the workplace, home, church, and other areas where there is a web of relationships. You cannot control what others say, but you can control what you say. You can also control avoiding situations that lead to compromise. If you are in a room where gossip is being spoken, excuse yourself and leave the room. Again, focus on what you can control and avoid what you cannot.