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When does communicating information turn into gossip?

Full Question

I was hoping you can explain what gossip is. I always thought it was talking about someone’s personal business or saying half-truths and innuendos. But is it also repeating what you heard about someone divorcing or getting in trouble? When does communicating information turn into gossip?


A good rule of thumb is not to say anything that we wouldn’t want said about us.


  1. Toni-Marie Reply

    I teach that a good barometer to use is: “is it my story to tell”? Do I have a right or need to tell this story for any other reason than to pass information on for no reason at all or for the entertainment of it or to have someone to justify a judgement I have made of another. Is it my story to tell? Mary may be going to lunch with Sally; is there any reason for me to tell Sally that Mary didn’t tip the waitress when we went out to lunch together? What is the reason for me to tell Mary that other than to have Mary validate my judgement? Was it my story to tell? Was there a need for me to taint Mary’s opinion of Sally? Did my telling Mary about Sally’s not tipping change anything other than me having someone now think ill of Sally and/or validate my judgement of Sally. Motive distinguishes

  2. Christian Azuero Reply

    Hi Toni-Marie.
    The definition of a Gossip is the next. “Gossip” – “Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.”

    The answer is simple. Your are doing a judgement by person’s action but not the person. Now we can put another scene. The waitress steals Sally’s handbag but we can not be certain about this. Bob tells to Sally that Mary’s handbag was stolen by the waitress. Sally tells Mary that the waitress is a stealer, we can not know that he is a stealer, the only that can judge this is God. Now, Sally tells Mary that the waitress stole her handbag, you can judge the action. However, Do you know is the information that Bob gives you is from a reliable source. it is this person having proof of what he was saying. Could be that Mary left her handbag on a chair or Bob is a enemy of the waitress and he took the bag. It is still a rumour that can not be proof it. Sally said that the waitress was shaking, this is not a valid proof, we can not know why is the reason of this behaviour. If it is not true, the waitress feels angry by Mary’s judgement of calling him a stealer and Mary was angry with the waitress. Mary commit a mortal sin and she have to repent with God because “you have to love your neighbour as yourself”. If it is true then, he commit a mortal sin and he have to repent to God. If both parties are agree that the person is not a stealer then there is not sin. The best advise in this case is to verify with the waitress first, and then with Mary and Bob. You have to ask yourself If it is beneficial for everyone and you can prove it, then, proceed. I left you an article about Gossip. Cheers.

    Exodus 23:1 – You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. No matter who originates the accusation, we should not repeat and spread it unless we have substantial evidence it is true.
    Proverbs 11:9 – The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor. Men have lost jobs, wealth, and families because of character assassination.

  3. mary christine Reply

    i think gossip is passing on information to some individual about another well knowing that apart from having them know what happened to who while they were not there they’ve got nothing much to do about it.the sole intention is to be the first to give one individual information about another who is in most cases well known to the two.

  4. Nancy Reply

    I think gossip is when you tell someone something about another person that the listener did not NEED to hear. If there is no necessity in telling the information to another person it becomes gossip!!

  5. Roberta Reply

    I think gossip is relating to anybody or everybody about somebody ( may be true or not true) just to make a person’s image bad or even worst just to make herself more interesting to all. Puting out someone’s candle to make her own shine.

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