The Best Definition of Gossip
Paul TautgesPaul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.
- 2017 Mar 18
“Gossip” is a hard word to define, almost like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. Some say gossip is passing along information that is not true, while others say it is simply the passing of anything along which makes it gossip, regardless of the accuracy of its content. But I think Matt Mitchell, pastor of Lance Evangelical Free Church in Lanse, PA, hits the nail on the head in the best definition of gossip that I’ve found. Matt defines gossip this way: Sinful gossip is bearing bad news behind someone’s back out of a bad heart.”
Matt Mitchell is not only a skilled interpreter and teacher of God’s Word, he’s also a loving shepherd who has known the pain of gossip personally. In the Introduction, he encourages his readers by sharing, “As a pastor, there have been times when I’ve been the subject of gossip in our little community….One time, when the gossip was at its worst, I thought seriously about quitting the pastorate altogether. But I’m glad I didn’t. God has been faithful to me, and He will be faithful to you, as well.”
Think with me for a few moments about the three key elements of Matt’s definition and how what we may call “New Life Communication” (developed in Ephesians 4:25-32) stands in stark contrast. Continue reading...