Friday, 19 October 2007

Six Types of Tongues - Part 1

A Backbiting Tongue

Proverbs 25.23: "The north wind driveth away rain: so doth
an angry countenance a backbiting tongue."

Today's Bible text, although once again brief, contains invaluable counsel to the child of God who desires to guard himself from the contamination of hurtful speech. But before we can better discern the dangers of a backbiting tongue, we must first understand what it is.

The Hebrew word from which backbiting is translated denotes speech that is slanderously uttered in secret between two or more people.

Psalm 101.5 contains the same Hebrew word for backbiting used in today's text, but it reads, "Whoso privily (privately) slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off." The psalmist David is vowing here that he will not allow anyone to come to him and whisper in his ear false words about someone else. Thus, a "backbiting tongue" refers to the speech of one who quietly, secretly utters to a confidant untrue statements that are solely intended to slander another person.

As with yesterday's text, Proverbs 25.23 contains a correlation between the attitudes of our hearts and the words that flow forth from our mouths. Just as the wind controls the direction and destination of the rain clouds, so the anger in our hearts can control the direction and content of our speech and even our very countenance.

What should our response be to those who come to us with a backbiting tongue, eager to share with us "confidential" information about someone else? Like David, we should not allow them to utter even the first words of their slanderous speech (read again Psalm 101.5); but rather, we must let them know in no uncertain terms that we ourselves do not speak in such a way nor desire to be spoken to in like manner.

Keep thinking!!

'Talk' to you later,
Country Mama

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