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Backbiting


He praises his listener while he backbites another

He that goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets :
Therefore meddle not with him that flatters with his lips. - Proverbs 20:19

He who flatters to the face will as readily scandalize behind the back. By soft, sinuous words and ways he will gain the confidence of his victim, appealing to his pride and love of approbation, and thus loosening his tongue, till he relates things far better left unsaid. When he has thus lured him on to unbaring his heart, he will go to others, and pour into their ears what he has just learned, flattering them in the same way, and giving them to suppose that they alone are the recipients of his favor. No character is more detestable. Utterly lacking in moral principle, and destitute of godliness, when such a person gets in among a Christian assembly, he can do untold mischief. The safe plan is to refuse altogether to listen to "him that flattereth with his lips." By so doing, much sorrow may be averted. The one who praises his listener while he backbites another, deserves to be treated in the spirit that David manifested toward the Amalekite who brought him news of Saul's death (2 Sam. 1: 1-16).

H. A. Ironside, Commentary on the Book of Proverbs

See also:  Evil Speaking, GossipSlander

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