Gossip. I imagine we’ve all done it at some point in our lives. The word gossip as a noun means a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others; a rumor or report of an intimate nature. As a verb it means to relate gossip. Not the most positive of definitions, I’d say. And we can’t forget what Paul says in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Dang. I can’t tell you how many times I have revealed personal facts about others all in the name of “praying for them”. And sometimes? Sometimes I just wanna share some juicy stuff about people, especially if I don’t really care for them. I’m just sayin’. So, how do we do this? Especially us women who tend to be far more relational and sharing. I think it comes down to motive. Chris’ and my story has been shared not only by our senior pastor nearly seven years ago, but also by my husband in his messages and by me on this blog. Since that time, many others have shared our story with people they know. I even heard a girl say one time about us, “I feel like I’m gossiping.” And to her I replied, “Well, don’t. We have this story on the worldwide web so I think you’re good.” 🙂 However, sharing personal information about someone who has placed his or her confidence in you would be crossing the line. Disclosing negative things about someone just for spite is highly inappropriate as well. So, what do you do when you want to share some personal and intimate stuff about others for reasons of genuine prayer? Ask the person. See if they are comfortable with you sharing the information about them. Let them tell you what they want you to share. You’ll find that many are open books and don’t care what you tell others. Still others will be more private and ask that you share that “they need prayer.” If they don’t want you to share their lives with others just say, “I really am not at liberty to say anything out of respect for my friend.” People might get offended and the situation may become a bit awkward because of your honesty but really, that is their problem. Don’t make it yours. Whatever the situation, use your discretion and consider how you would feel if the following information was shared about you. That sure might make you adjust what you are about to say. Is gossip your struggle? What other suggestions might you share with others about overcoming a desire to gossip?