We all know gossip is bad. In Romans 1, Paul lists a variety of sins that condemn people. In this list with sexual sins, murder, and others, he also includes gossip. But what exactly is gossip?
Not everything you say negative about someone else is gossip. There are times when it is okay to warn someone of another person’s character, or to go to others for advice on how to help someone. We recognize that Jesus warned his disciples of certain people. For instance, he told them to avoid the influence of the Scribes and Pharisees (Mark 8:15). Paul names Alexander the coppersmith as someone who did him much harm (2 Timothy 4:14). So how do we define gossip? The truth is it is not easy to define.