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What is Gossip?


The dictionary definition:

Gossip: One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler. (Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language)

Gossip: Idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. (Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language)


The Biblical definition:

“And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” (I Timothy 5:13)


The Ancient Greek word translated gossips: Phluaros: (floo’-ar-os) from phluo (to bubble); a garrulour person, i.e. prater:–tattler.

“An idle talker” – Englishman’s Greek Expositor’s Greek New Testament on the word translated gossips in 1 Timothy 5:13: “The social intercourse of idle people is naturally characterized by silly chatter which does not merely affect the understanding of those who indulge in it, but lead them on to mischievous interference in other people’s affairs.”


The Bible says that we should mind our own business and not be busybodies in the affairs of others: “That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” (I Thessalonians 4:11)

We all know the destructive power of the tongue and its resistance to taming. Yet many struggle with talebearing, often rationalizing their hurtful comments as spiritual concern, prayer requests, or “seeking counsel”. A corresponding problem occurs when our friends that hear these words are consequently wounded in their own spirit themselves. The following questions were written in response to many requests for

help to know how to stop the wounding and bring healing without piously rejecting the talebearer, and without being drawn by the story into a kindred bitterness.

1. Is this your problem? Prov. 26:17

2. Will this go away without your involvement? Prov. 10:19/20:3

3. Since “love covers all sins,” would you be willing to forgive and forget this one? Why not? Prov. 10:12

4. What are your basic assumptions about the problem? I Cor. 13:15

5. Have you heard all sides of this issue? What about God’s side? Prov. 29:20

6. Is your own heart free of hurt, anger

and bitterness? Heb. 12:14-15

7. What is God testing in you through

this for your own spiritual growth?

James 1:2-8

8. What do you think Jesus would have

done in this situation? I Pet. 2:21

9. Do you know what your next step is

Biblically? Matt. 18:15-20

10. How can you help resolve your

thoughts and feelings without be

coming entrapped with a critical atti-

tude myself? Gal. 6:1


Always end in prayer for cleansing from any attitude which Satan could use as a snare to entrap us in talebearing, bitterness, or taking up another’s cause.


Read: Psalm 51 especially verse 10