Proverbs Twenty-Six

Proverbs 26:20

“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”

Just as wood is the fuel of a fire so gossip is often the fuel of a quarrel or dispute. 

But men don’t gossip, isn’t this a women’s issue? 

“He who goes about gossiping reveals secrets,”

So he, not she, who reveals secrets is like the man who fuels the fire of conflict. 

Again, in Proverbs 16:28

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”

Gossip can and will destroy a close friendship that may have been built over years. 

So why is ‘gossip’ such a temptation! Back to Ch 26.  

Proverb 26:22

“The words of a gossip are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.”

Gossip just tastes and feels good to our sinful self. It tears down others which in a destructive, backward way, builds ourselves up. 

So what’s a man to do? 

The ESV, RSV and NASB often translate gossip as ‘whisperer’. Men don’t gossip in public but only in private – they ‘whisper’ so that only an exclusive few will hear. Avoiding these ‘secret conversations’ that would not be acceptable in a public setting will help us to avoid destructive gossip. 


Father, thank You that because of Jesus, I am a new creation and have the high calling as your child. Help me rest secure in this and to be diligent to avoid the lust of gossiping about others in order to build myself up. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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