An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.
God warns against mud-slinging, gossip and slander, since they come from wrong motives and can destroy relationships. Instead of digging up dirt, we should strive to find and promote the good in others.
As Paul wrote, we should look for “whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
This doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to sin and unrighteousness. We need to make righteous judgments and go to a brother who sins against us (John 7:24; Matthew 18:15-17). But trying to tear someone down or driving a wedge between friends is not a godly approach.
For more about the right and wrong use of our words, see the section on “The Joys and Challenges of Communication,” especially the article “Taming the Tongue: What the Bible Says About Gossip.”