I bet that a high percentage of church divisions have started with the words -- hey, did you hear about so and so? I really believe with all my heart that one of the greatest threats to the church today is gossip because we're all guilty. Before you just self-righteously say, I don't gossip, let's define it. Gossip is any time I tell someone else something negative about you behind your back when that person doesn't need to know. That's gossip. Can I just make it clear? Just because they're a family member doesn't mean they need to know. Just because they're a friend doesn't mean they need to know. Let me go a step further. If you listen to gossip you've still committed the sin.
I heard a preacher articulate five questions to ask when someone comes to you with gossip. Let me give them to you. Number one, “Why are you telling me this?” Question number two, “Where did you get your information?” Number three, “Have you already gone directly to that person like Jesus said we should do?” Number four, “Have you checked out your facts?” And then number five, “When I go talk to that person, may I use your name? “ That will stop a gossip right in their tracks.