Here is a gossip test - regarding the words that proceed from my lips:
- Does it edify?
- Do I have permission to share what I know?
- Is it necessary to speak about this?
- Will someone be hurt by it?
- Will it glorify God?
WHEN SHOULD I SUSPECT A PERSON IS GOSSIPING?
- Is this “talk” about someone who is not there?
- Does it sound like this person has avoided the Matthew 18:15-20 step of going one on one first?
And am I ready to stop them and ask them if they have discussed this first with the person of whom they’re speaking?
- Did they have permission to tell me what they’re telling me?
- Would this person be saying this if that person (of whom they were speaking) were there?
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE GOSSIPS TO YOU:
Stop him or her before they give details and ask them,
- Do you have permission (from this person of whom you’re speaking) to tell you what you are about to share?
- Did you speak directly to ___________ first? (And if you did...) What did he/she say in response?
At this point, if things were done appropriately (according to Matthew 18:15-20), and the person didn’t listen, and it was determined that there is a real offense/sin involved, you will need to be willing to go with that person and follow through on Jesus’ instructions in the Matthew passage.