Proverbs 25:23-24 (KJV):
23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
Verse 23 – As surely as the north wind brings rain after the long dry season, speaking evil of someone in their absence produces anger; if not in those listening, in the slandered person when he hears it. Backbiters expect others to agree with them. In mixed company, they can address the friends, as well as the enemies of the person they attack, bringing trouble upon themselves.
No one wants to be around a backbiter except other backbiters. Their talk is spiteful and unpleasant. Common sense tells you that anyone who will talk to you about others will also talk about you. There is a danger of being drawn into their sin, if you listen to them and happen not to like the person of whom they complain. That is one reason we should not give an ear to people like that. However, the main reason that we should avoid gossip and backbiting is because it will drive us from God’s presence. Hearing someone slander others behind their backs should be as unpleasant to God’s children as being caught in a heavy rain driven by a cold, blasting wind. We should let it be known, by our expressions if nothing else, that we disapprove of such talk. Notice in Psalm 15:1-3, the qualities of those who abide in God’s presence: “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.”