26 The appetite of laborers works for them;
their hunger drives them on.
27 A scoundrel plots evil,
and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.
28 A perverse person stirs up conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.
Appetites are never fully satisfied. There is no great meal, no exhilarating experience, no worthwhile achievement that does not eventually give way to the desire for more. The more we expect these things to give us lasting satisfaction, the more we shall be disappointed. Yet there is pleasure to be found in the rhythms of desire and fulfillment, which depend on one another, each having its season.
“A scoundrel plots evil, and on their lips it is like a scorching fire. A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” Evil may begin with the spark of an idea, but it spreads through words “like a scorching fire.” The scoundrel, the perverse person and the gossip all use words unwisely, and the results speak for themselves. How quickly is a reputation ruined, a conflict ignited, and a confidence betrayed with a few errant words?