- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 11:13
"He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter"
One of the principles or axioms that you must begin to live by if you are to be trusted with "what really happened" information is that you must not tell people all the things that are revealed to you. The only exception to that is if they have a real need to know for a moral purpose.
You can either be known as someone who tells what they know or as someone who can be trusted. You can't be both. It takes a maturing person to realize that it is better to know the real facts and information – even though you can't tell anyone that you know – than be a person who spreads all the rumors, gossip, junk, and secrets that they hear.
The wise person is the one who does not need to be noticed for what one knows. The wise person does not need to be known as one who knows – knowing is enough. If you are to be a confidant of others, you must be confidential.
This is the Hebrew word rakil which means slander or slanderer or talebearer. This is a much more negative word than is conveyed by the English translation. It is much more about slander – a libelous destruction of a person's reputation through the rumors, secrets, lies, and truths that are spread about the person. The intent is clearly to increase self and decrease the object of the slander.
So if you are sitting listening to a person bad-mouth someone else, realize that they will be doing the same thing about you in other situations. It is their form of foolishness. Do not reveal secrets you don't want known to a person who you know regularly slanders others in order to look like they are “in the know.”
This is the Hebrew word sod which means counsel, intimate plans, secret, consultation. It seems to have the idea of something that is closely held or intimately known.
Realize that Solomon is trying to cause us to wake up and notice that there are types of fools who derive their importance by dishing dirt and intimate details to others. It is their way of being important. They will act in whatever way they have to in order to hear new information so they can keep their importance up. DO NOT TRUST THIS PERSON WITH SECRETS.
This is two Hebrew words aman and ruach. The first word is the word we get our word amen from, and it means so let it be true or it is true; it is faithful; even it conforms to reality. The second word is the word ruach which means spirit or breath. It often refers to God's Holy Spirit, but it also refers to the immaterial part of a person. In this case it seems to stand for the motive and general nature of a person. Are they faithful and trustworthy to do what they say and commit to, or are they people who will sell you out for a little public adulation?
This is the Hebrew word dabar which has a wide range of meaning but largely refers to one’s way or path in life but also speech, word, acts, direction, etc. The person who can be trusted conceals more than facts; in fact, they might not conceal facts. They would conceal possible motives and directions of the person.
A friend does not sell out a friend or a client or a spouse or a child just to seem more important. One who has character resists giving up the secrets of another. If you are going to be trusted with real secrets, you must demonstrate yourself confidential first.