(Proverbs 20:19 KJV) He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
One of the behaviors I have been working on recently is asking permission to share what people tell me. My intent is to not pass on something that was offered in confidence. I don’t want to betray a trust. Sometimes people don’t want me to share, sometimes it is no problem. I am also finding that much of what is shared with me falls into the category of slander or “flattereth with their lips” (gossip NASB) (6601a/8193).
Recently a teacher was sharing something a colleague had said. It was kind of funny. I knew him and wanted to give him a hard time about it. I checked with the revealer because I would have felt free to tell him who had told me the juicy tid-bit. I did not consider it a big deal but sometimes we joke with one group in a way we don’t feel another group would understand. She only paused a minute before she said, “No, probably not.”
A simple question kept me from getting into the gossip game.
So? Think before you speak. When in doubt, ask. What is humor for me might be totally unfunny to someone else. I need to remember that, do you?