I've been reading through Proverbs. (Not to sound all self-religious.... I'm on chapter 17, and I've been reading them for probably 3 months, if that tells you how sporadic I am.)
One thing that jumps out at me in every chapter are the verses about gossip, and "the words of a fool." I know God is convicting me. And I don't know how to deal with it.
How do you respond when someone says, "Well, you need to be praying for so-and-so." Then proceeds to tell you about a co-worker whose husband has left her, but she probably deserved it, because she was having an emotional affair, and the prayer-request-sharer knows about it because of this, that, and the other. I mean, what do you do? Say, "No, I don't want to hear about it"? Say, "I'll pray, but you're gossiping"?
Don't get me wrong. I love the juicy details. I know I shouldn't, but don't we all feel just a little bit better on the inside when we hear how someone else has screwed up? Like we're just a little better than them?
So I'm convicted. I just don't know what to do about it. I guess that despite what comes into my ears, I can control what I pass on.
And I will say.... I don't believe talking about things with your husband is gossip. If someone tells me something that starts with, "Don't tell anyone, but...." I do interrupt and say, "I tell my husband everything." But I guess even within your own home, it can become malicious, and that is wrong however you look at it.