Is This Gossip?
9 questions to help you decide.
Is This Gossip?

One challenge in ministry is confidentiality—that is, how open can you be about someone else? These nine questions can help you decide whether what you know should be shared.

1. Am I telling this to someone who can do something about the problem by helping the person or offering discipline or correction?

2. If not, am I telling this to someone who is wise enough to help me sort out my feelings and courageous enough to make me do the right thing: to confront the person or to confess where I was at fault?

3. Is this news approved for sharing?

4. Am I breaking a confidence? If so, is it only because the person is endangering someone's life, including his or her own?

5. Am I willing to say from whom I got this information so the information can be checked for accuracy?

6. When I say this, does it break my heart?

7. Have I taken time to examine my life and confess to God how I also sin like that?

8. Am I praying for the person?

9. Would I feel comfortable if someone were saying this about me?

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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