One of the things I have grown to love about my iphone is the ability to download and listen to a "podcast". (Just think - five or so years ago the word "podcast" probably didn't even exist!)The other day I was browsing through the list of podcasts and came across one call "Stuff Catholics Should Know: Gossip". For some reason it attracted my attention and I listened - and LOVE IT!
(No, I'm not Catholic, but enjoy learning about it.)
For the first time I heard someone really break down and give a good definition to gossip. Through out the years I have struggled to come up with a good simple definition - I usually know when I hear gossip that what ever is being said is gossip, but have had a hard time explaining it in words.
This podcast guys (several priest in seminary) broke down gossip into three types: libel, slander, and distraction. Libel: printed lies about a person. Slander: verbal lies about a person. Distraction: anything said about a person that hurts their reputation.
That's the one I love! We all know lies about a person is gossip, but what about things that are true? One definition a few years ago was something along the lines of "words that you won't say in front of a person, but saying it behind their back." Which is true, but I really like this new one - if it hurts their reputation, then is it's gossip.
Simpler, I think. And I have to admit - convicting.