Proverbs 26:17-28

Talks for Growing Christians

Wisdom in Everyday Living

Proverbs 26:17-28

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Lesson Number 44

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.

Practical Application

  1. Make sure the silver is on the inside!


  1. List the characteristics of an ungodly person as noted by Solomon in verses 17-28.
  2. In verses 20-22, the term “talebearer” is what we might call today a ______________. Identify other proverbs in verses 23-28 that may apply to the words of the “talebearer”.
  3. A person might say that the statement in verse 27 does not always come true, that a man who tries to harm people by trapping or crushing them does not always experience retribution. How would you respond to this opinion or observation?


  1. Several characteristics of an ungodly person noted by Solomon in these verses are meddling, quarreling, displaying uncontrolled anger, deceiving, gossiping, being contentious, having a wicked heart, hating, lying and flattering.
  2. The “talebearer” in Solomon’s proverbs may be called a gossiper today. The gossiper may often include words of deceit, contention, lies and flattery in his ungodly speech.
  3. First, recall that the wicked person will not get away with his sin forever. There is final judgment. Secondly, remember that these are proverbs, that is, general truths stated in general terms.


  1. Discuss the proper balance of expressing interest and concern in the lives of your Christian friends and yet not intruding (meddling) into areas of their lives that they may want to keep private. Consider whether they have accepted you as intimate friends, or have sought out your counsel at other times. Consider also the degree to which you have been willing to share your lives with them in the past.


  1. Do your thoughts and the words emanating from them match the true spiritual condition of your heart? Do your words of praise and encouragement to others accurately portray your inner feelings toward them? Ask God for a pure heart, so that your words will reveal a righteous spirit. “O Lord, you have searched me . . . you perceive my thoughts from afar.” (Psalm 139:1, 2b)

Key Verses

  • “Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross.” Proverbs 26:23
  • “A lying tongue hates those crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Proverbs 26:28

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