- Do we knowingly engage in conversations where others, who are not present, are talked about? Especially when the things which are being said are unkind, or at least things they would not want others to know or talk about?
- Do we pass on confidential information - and possibly call them "prayer requests"?
- Do we allow things we have "heard" about others to "frame" the way we see them?
- If you do not like something someone does, do you tell others about it to "get them on your 'side'"? Do you misuse your position as staff to get the rest of the staff to do this?
I once knew of a young pastor who, while studying to get his BA in psychology, decided he was able to "diagnose" everyone he met; which he did. Once he decided what a person "was", it framed everything he saw and thought about the person. While this was certainly not a positive thing, he went beyond this by telling others his "diagnosis'" of people, but did so as if they were diagnosis' which had actually been given by a qualified professional. He told people things they told him were kept in confidence, but they were not. He caused great harm to people.
While this is an extreme case, do you basically do this with people in your ministry? Do you decide "what/who" they are and then tell others? Do you try to "get others on your side" by saying things about people who may want to do things differently than you do? Do you keep confidences? Do you talk about others when they are not present and able to tell their perspective? Do you gossip?
There are other times this may happen, but regardless of when or why we gossip, we need to know doing this harms others, damages our ministry and leaves us as people who can not be trusted. Look at Proverbs 11:12 & 13 -
Do not gossip. Gossip is evil and absolutely will damage your ministry, harm others and leave you as a person who can not be trusted. We must be people whose lives and ministry show an absolutely commitment to integrity by being people who do NOT gossip.