This verse is identical to 26:22. Whatever the reasons for that are, I always assume God decided we needed to hear this again. When I think about what it says…I know I need to hear it again!
The focus here is on “words” — a favorite topic in Proverbs. But these are particular words, “the words of a gossip.”
“Gossip” here is also translated as whispering; murmuring; secretly criticizing, slandering, complaining or grumbling! Ouch!
Our wise saying offers two insights about these “words of a gossip.” First, “they’re like choice morsels.”
I’d say it this way, “they taste as good as a large piece of a three-layer chocolate cake with lots of chocolate icing…along with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.” Who wouldn’t want some of that!
The fact is, this gossip-stuff is pretty interesting…and we generally want more!
The second line says “they go down to the inmost parts.” This suggests that once we get the message of these words in us…and they go deep,,.and they stay there — it can really affect us.
We’ve all listened to things we really shouldn’t have and what we heard stayed with us, even went down deep in our feelings and thoughts. It’s affected us and colored how we think about others.
There are things we can do to address what’s already in there — like admit I shouldn’t have listened, consciously address my faulty thinking and communicate about it with anyone appropriate.
I can also make a conscious commitment to not let any more in! But, nobody’s perfect…so repeat the above paragraph, as needed!