1. “Everyone is talking” or “A lot of people have a problem with…” When this person is asked who is “everyone” exactly, it is usually just them and one or two others they’ve talked to while they’re assuming that means everyone else. This person talks in general terms for “the masses” without a defined crowd or wanting to call their one or two friend sources out.
2. “I’m just going to tell you but don’t tell anyone else…” They think they are just having fun or being a good friend, but these words expose them as being a bad friend when breaking trust with the originator without asking for his or her permission before speaking.
3. “I can’t believe they are…” This righteous indignation is masked slander a lot of the time. People who speak negatively about those in leadership without giving loving thought to their actions are most likely speaking out of a sinful, rather than godly attitude based off of Ephesians 4:29 & 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13.
4. “I have to hear everyone’s side of the story with any and every opinion…” – This person goes around hearing from everyone, even untrustworthy sources, to give them a voice. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that every word and opinion should be voiced and heard.
5. “Did you hear what this person…” If people are bringing stories to you about others, you need to make sure to ask yourself, Am I sure I’m not the gossip or that I’m encouraging gossip myself? “A Gossip is like a Garbage Disposal… People will keep bringing their trash where they know it can be dumped.”
6. “The reason I left that church is because of this and that wrong reason” As a pastor, you quickly have to learn that people who talk bad to you about others will soon talk bad about you to others also. No, you will not be the one Christian person or group that never hurts them and that they don’t complain about.
7. “They are such… (fill in your choice of hurtful names or adjective).” This is when people put down others to feel a sense of gratification. Whether it makes the gossip look better or just gives them importance by having something to talk about, this discussion is at the other person’s expense. The gossip can lean towards bullying or “the over caring”. Gossips can be mean to the person’s face but they’re even more so behind their backs. The bully simply disassociates themselves from the person in more public situations while the “over caring gossip” does so in more private “confiding” scenarios.