Before I start out, let me give you a little definition of gossip I found in a google search:
“Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature. 2. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts. 3. Trivial, chatty talk or writing.” (google definition)
“1 : a person who repeats stories about other people. 2 : talk or rumors involving the personal lives of other people. gossip. verb. gossiped; gossiping.”(google definition)
I always thought of myself as a private person. I like to talk about some of my personal experiences when I teach or get to know someone. This is a part of life. No one gets to know another person without an exchange of personal information.
I always considered gossip as intentionally harmful or that the gossiping person has the intent in their heart to cause damage to another. This certainly is many times the case. Gossip can also be about issues that are none of our business concerning another person. Spreading rumors and information about another person can be damaging just by exchanging information.
To some degree, we all have to talk about certain things that involve another person. This is a part of caring, a part of business, or a part of protection for ourselves or others. We can not simply cut ourselves off from the world and never discuss another human being. After all, we are all interwoven. Some things should be addressed if they will save a person from harm or out of genuine concern.
Investigative discussion regarding another might occur when finding the information is vital to our own health, well-being, or safety. I’ve been known to investigate many things about people just out of mere protection or understanding. Not everyone puts their cards out on the table in the beginning. So, I watch. It’s a way of getting to know someone.
Gossip in the tackiest form is just spreading rumors, whether they are true or not. They can be entirely true, and the formal gossip thinks it is their duty to spread the garbage. Unfortunately, they are sadly mistaken. It is no one’s business or duty to spread junk about another person.
We all know how harmful it can be when we have become the subject of someone’s gossip. It happens sooner or later because the practice is so widespread. Since I truly believe we reap what we sow, usually if there is gossip going around, the subject of the gossip usually had been doing the same thing. In the same respect, the one who is now gossiping about them will suffer the same consequences. So before you point a finger, better seek your own heart first! Don’t open your mouth until you thoroughly search your own heart and determine if the information is just being spread or essential to discuss.
What goes around truly comes around and in the same measure, if not more, later on! So it pays to be careful!
Loving you from here,
Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Ph.D.