Proverbs 20:19 (NLT)
19A gossip tells secrets, so don't hang around with someone who talks too much.
Solomon points out there are some types of people you have to take care in associating with. One such type is a tale bearer who goes about carrying stories they are entrusted with. They may have gained their information by fair or unfair means, under the pretence of guessing men’s intensions and sometimes modifying the truth to fit their own needs. It can be certain any secret or truth which may be told in privacy or confidence will be revealed to others. There are also flatters who pick out of person something with which they can build upon for their own gain. They praise and put false confidence into the person and reveal secrets to gain trust so the person falls to their side. Solomon *warns* us beware of such people.
When our son was young and playing sports there was a mother present at the games who was constantly gossiping about the latest news she had heard in the community. She was always talking to someone about something that was happening with someone. Well the end of the season came and the team was having its final team banquet. This woman called my wife and asked for a ride to the banquet, which my wife offered her. But on the way to the banquet my wife made the mistake of asking a question. She said, “I noticed the mother of the coach’s son is pregnant, but they don’t ever come or leave together. Are they separated?” It was a simple curiosity question of concern my wife was asking, but she asked the wrong person. The woman responded, “I don’t know; I hadn’t noticed; are they separated; is it his baby; when did she get pregnant before or after”. You can see where her mind was headed. No sooner did we arrive did the woman make a beeline to the coaches wife and pointing to my wife, “she said you were separated, is the baby his or someone else’s? Are you planning to keep it? So what is the story?” I can’t describe how embarrassed my wife from the actions of this woman and how much she apologized to the coaches wife. Fortunately the coach’s wife knew this particular woman was the type to talk about people and she was very forgiving. James said, “We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way.” Take care in what you say because it can create great impact on those around you. Pray that God teaches you the words to say, the thoughts to have and the heart to act. Pray you learn to listen before you speak and learn to discern what you hear before you act.