Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body. (NASB)
At fifty years of age, I am on my first true diet. Weight was never a problem, but as age accumulated, so did the pounds. A diet is not necessarily about what we cannot eat, but rather about being selective in what we eat and in watching the amounts.
In today's verse and other proverbs, Solomon refers to a "word diet". This proverb mentions rumours, and many others refer to gossip. The two go hand-in-hand, for listening to the first almost always results in the doing of the second.
Solomon compares rumours to dainty morsels. Like a good dessert, they are inviting and tantalizing. The story is juicy. Our ears perk up. We want to know more. It does not matter whether it is true or not. Then we find ourselves "bursting at the seams" to pass along this sweet morsel. The trouble is that the next person feels the same way.
One key to a successful diet is simply to avoid what we should not have. It is better not to order what we should not eat rather than to order it and then try to resist it. We should commit to not even opening the candy box of rumours, refuse to listen to them, and walk away from the conversation or tell the person we would rather not hear what they are about to share. We can avoid a second bite if we never take the first.
If we have no choice but to hear the rumour, we should decide that we will not pass it on. Rumours and the accompanying gossip may contain an element of truth, but it is always buried in trappings that will destroy, maim, discourage, and depress.
Prayer: Lord, help us to pass along Your love and those things that are positive, encouraging, and uplifting. Amen.