At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“An ungodly man diggeth up evil: And in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: And a whisperer separateth chief friends” (KJV).Proverbs 16:27–28
There are times when dirty deeds are being done somewhere, and a noble soul comes forward to reveal that fact. We praise that person, and call him a whistleblower. But there are other situations where a situation was resolved and dealt with properly, and someone else came along in order to dig up the bones.
This latter situation is what is being addressed by our proverb. It is not automatically virtuous to reveal evils, and it is certainly not virtuous to make up evils in order to reveal them. We can tell from this proverb what the sinful element is.
The ungodly man is described as having a burning fire in his lips. In other words, he wants to see things burn. He is headstrong, and he sows strife because he wants a harvest of more strife—thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold. In addition, his campaign of whispering is an instrument that is used by the devil to pry close friends apart.
We are told in Scripture that love covers a multitude of sins. If it is not automatically virtuous to reveal sins, and if it is sometimes discreditable to hide them, then it becomes plain that we are going to need a great deal of wisdom when it comes to how we conduct our lives. When and how should we tell someone? When and how should refrain from telling anyone?
One of the ways we might test ourselves is by asking whether we always want to do the same thing. If we always want to tell, then we are what Scripture would call a talebearer. “A talebearer revealeth secrets: But he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter” (Proverbs 11:13). Notice that. It is a faithful spirit that conceals a matter. But if we never want to tell, under any circumstances, then we are quite possibly the kind of person who will not enjoy the blessing of God. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
So there is such a thing as ungodly revealing and godly concealing. There is also such a thing as ungodly concealing and godly revealing. Telling the difference is why we need to be steeped in the Scriptures.