What is Gossip?

True or False:

The word “gossip” is not found in most translations of the Bible. Gossip is defined as, “Idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others” (RHCD). The closest thing to a biblical definition of gossip would be the following:

“…they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.(1 Tim. 5: 13, NIV).

Gossip is often half-truths and even truth that does not need to be said.

” A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13

Gossip is good and a social bonding? Gossip is fun? Without gossip there is no communication?

Hey, team of excellent writers, “What is Gossip? Do you gossip? Do you think its wrong?

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18 thoughts on “What is Gossip?

  1. Sara asks, “Do you think (gossip) is wrong? Not if it meets these qualifications:
    “Finally, brothers and SISTERS….whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.The doctrines and the line of conduct which has been taught to you–both what you heard ( from the Word) and what you saw in me(St. Paul) — hold fast to them; (Talk about them…Repeat them…Tell about them) and God who gives peace will be with you.”
    Otherwise, everything else is gossip, idle talk, unmentionables and off limits to the disciples of the Lord…FEMALE AND MALE. Gossip not only slanders the ones spoken about but defiles the ones who do the chattering.

  2. Likening gossip to idle talk seems pretty accurate. A car that is idling is going no where, just using up gas and polluting the air. So words with no constructive purpose seem to fit the definition of gossip. I think sometimes people ask questions or ‘tell truths that don’t need to be said’ just to fish for information because they are nosey, but it’s none of their business because acquiring such knowledge doesn’t relate or affect or pertain to them.
    Do I gossip. I think I do if I engage in words or converstion of that has no real purpose. I think if I walk in the Spirit at all times I don’t gossip because my communication would be clear, concise and directed by the Lord for a purpose. Am I there yet? No.

  3. Debi, I think you are on to a big something with “Nosey”. I gather your Mother or grandmother taught you that…I hear people so often ask questions to gather information about another and think they are been clever in asking the info. the way they do. But, they look, if possible, worst than a big fat sore thumb. We all know if we need info ask and let it be known why we are asking. It is so tiring and wearing on the physical body to have someone run around asking questions about someone or something that has absolutely nothing to do with them. Thesaurus gives this info: prying, inquisitive, curious, spying, eavesdropping, intrusive; informal snooping, snoopy.”

    The word ‘nosey’ also seems to have part B, “curiosity killed the cat proverb being inquisitive about other people’s affairs may get you into trouble.”

    I heard an exec from Chick-filet describe a good employee or team player in three parts 1) competence 2) character 3) chemistry

    What kind of team player would be the opposite of the above three characteristics?

  4. I ask a lot of questions and I feel that with every single question and answer I now have a great responsibility sitting in my mind, heart and soul. The scripture that comes to my mind: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” Ecclesiastes 1:18 NIV

    OMG, the worst is when others give wrong info, meaning just right out and out lie to twist their story or get attention or whatever their character is talks. I at times give wrong info because others gave me wrong then I find out the truth and it takes so much time, energy and wiliness to go and straighten out the horrid mess.

    If we look at our scripture from I Timothy 5, we will see that the main reason idle talk, gossip, etc. is happening is because the woman doesn’t have enough to do and needs to get busy with some good work and produce some fruit. When one reads the chapter in full you might rethink some behavioral characteristics. Example vs. 6 “But the woman who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.”

  5. INCOMPETENCE, (lack of skill); LACK OF INTEGRITY (quality of person):
    TOXIC (poisoning or acting in resistance or obstruction) might be the opposites of the 3 characteristics you describe above, Sara.

  6. Yes, Sara you are right..my mother and grandmother taught me that and told me more than once, “don’t be nosey or stop being nosey when I asked about something that was none of my business and that they had a good reason for me not asking. And yes, they used the expression you quoted: “curiosity killed the cat”.
    I agree with you about the responsibility after questioning. Either I question just to idly gather info with no real understanding or intent of how or what to do with it (just pure gossip mind) or gather it to use against someone, etc. All is sinful and not good.
    An opposite team player woould be: for competent:incompetent (good for nothing); for character: corrupt morals; for chemistry: incompatible…these are the opposites that come to my mind.

  7. Yes. I learned a Model Schools conference that one high school couldn’t move forward implementing necessary goals to improve because they had staff that they called ‘toxic’. Toxic meaning they complained, etc and wouldn’t work as a team to see the goals the administration and others recommended to move forward. Therefore the principal decided to separate all the toxic people in one group, put them at a table together to complain, etc with each other, and the rest of the staff just moved ahead with the goals, ideas, plans and saw a huge improvement in the school success and student achievement.

  8. Absolutely modern and timeless…customs, dress and times change but the evil human nature transcends the calendar.

  9. Sara asks above, “is gossip in the Bible?” As Debi writes, customs and times change” And of course, Language and vernacular(s) change, also. I think that in the Bible another word that explains our modern day Eng. word “gossip” could be “Tale-bearing”.
    “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter.” (Pro. 11:13)
    “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people!”(Lev. 19:16,). Tale-bearing is a term that includes lying, gossiping, slandering, whispering, speaking ill, and in some cases, even seemingly innocent blabbing.
    I saw one website that said “Gab, Blab and Gossip.”
    That covers a lot of territory.
    I read in Gwen Shaw’s book this phrase….. ” YOUR WORDS, YOUR WORLD”

  10. “Gossip is good and a social bonding? Gossip is fun? Without gossip there is no communication?” Maybe this has a little truth to it?

  11. Probably has a lot of truth to many. It’s the glue that bonds many social circles, provides hours of entertainment. And what would some have to talk about if it wasn’t gossip? Guess that’s ‘good’ to those who would have little to talk about otherwise.

  12. Proverbs 18:8: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels: they go down to a man’s innermost parts.” HUM, sounds like a weight gainer like chocolate cake!

  13. “Like a poisonous snake gossip can kill you! Their instrument of violence is not steely switchblade nor a ‘Saturday-night special’. It’s the tongue! (gossssip website)
    Jesus said, “He who lives by the “sword” dies by the sword.” Our tongues can be swords of destruction. When we speak what is conjecture or embellishment or exaggeration, or our own opinion as fact then we are gossiping.

  14. Ephesians 4:20-5:4…Paul gives us a vision for our speech. Example look at vs. 29
    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

    How do I feel about my words at the end of the day? How do I feel about words given to me at the end of the day. Have I given and received only words that build one another up and have we all had great benefits? We like company benefits, life insurance, med insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, etc. What kind of benefits do we get with our conversations with one another?

  15. Debi’s quote: “Do I gossip. I think I do if I engage in words or conversation of that has no real purpose. I think if I walk in the Spirit at all times, I don’t gossip because my communication would be clear, concise and directed by the Lord, for a purpose. Am I there yet? No.”

    Thanks, Debi, this sure is clear to me.

  16. YAY! Prov: 10:20-21 says something very interesting: “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.”

    With this lesson one does not need a tongue pierced ruby from Kaye’s Jewelry? Why? The righteous tongue is a choice metal. Hey Needles, Debi, MG, Rena and anyone that wants to ‘cheer us on’…YAY, YEAH! We want the encouragement from the ones that wants us to succeed. Wants us to keep going and says, go, go, go, you can do it!!!!

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