Gossip is often justified by the claim, “but it’s true!” The idea is that gossip is only wrong when it is false. Nothing could be further from the truth. Such a claim is but an excuse to continue harmful talk and a weak defense against a charge of being a busybody.
As a preacher I know true, but embarrassing, things about many people. Sometimes the persons themselves are the source of my knowledge. But who would support my spreading of these true things? No one.
Gossip is wrong regardless of the truthfulness of it.
True Gossip Hurts
True gossip hurts more than a falsehood. Because it cannot be denied it reveals a tarnished moment in our life which we want to forget. Everyone reading this short post has at least one embarrassing moment in their background. It is something that is true, likely the source of much regret and something best kept in the past. It is our skeleton in the closet. I have those things, you have them and everyone you know has them. What a blessed person to have no regrets or embarrassments from the past!
While these things are true, we do not want them revealed or re-hashed in public. To bring them up again provides no positive effect.
True gossip spreaders ought consider the Golden Rule:
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:21).
When telling something true, but hurtful, think of your own failures and tell your secret fault, to the same people first. I suspect that will stop much true gossip dead in its tracks.