Richard Burton, an English scholar from Oxford University at Christ Church writes in his renowned book, The Anatomy of Melancholy, first published in 1621, that “A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.” This is very much aligned with the analogy that King Solomon gives as advice when dealing with gossips as recorded in Proverbs 26:17-28. The king who asked for wisdom from God and received it, writes, that where there is no hearsay (gossiping), strife ceaseth, and that talebearing is like wood to a fire. Most of us like to gossip, but the Bible tells us that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter (Proverbs 25:2). In a generation, where the social network is prevalent as a day-by-day engagement, not just in businesses, but in personal matters as well, as Christians we must be careful to not fall in the trap of using our words as catalysts that instigate strife or weapons that inflict deep wounds. Words must be used to build (encourage) one another and not de-face them. Let us remember, that the God is in heaven and we are on earth, so let our words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
Proverbs 26:20-22 (KJV)
20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.