You stand at an office door and overhear tempers flare. You're sitting in a restaurant and overhear an argument between two people. You get a phone call and the voice on the other end wants to "share" something of dire importance. You get an anonymous letter disparaging a brother or sister in Christ. It could even be true. You read a blog with nothing but criticism toward another brother or sister in Christ. What is it called? Openness? Transparency? OR===>>>
SLANDER. When is talking about someone slander? When does it cross over from shedding light to dumping garbage?
GOSSIP. When is sharing a truth gossip?
LIES. Is innuendo lying? Is it deceit? Is it full of guile?
What do we do? How do we know? Is it really a tale worth bearing? How do we discern?
Luke Liechty, at SEARCH ME O GOD has written one of a series of posts on gossip, talebearing and related words. I couldn't have said it better if I'd written it myself. He's interpreting scripture on the subject of peddling trash. One of the most descriptive proverbs in the Bible speaks very clearly about what will happen to a person who gossips and spreads tales: "A dog shall return to its own vomit." Not a very nice image, is it?
This is not a very positive topic either. But a necessary one. Pray unceasingly that those who do not know what is right to do, will be convicted and repent. selahV