Intentional words

As a Christian, I try to go out of my way to encourage others that I DON'T have it all together, or even all figured out. I think it is very important to be honest about your faults and weaknesses so that we can be true to scripture and allow iron to sharpen iron.
Going back into the working world, I knew that words in general and gossip in specific would be great points of contention for me. For one thing I don't think I have defined for myself what exactly falls into the category of gossip. Is it negative statements true or false about a specific person or group? Is is only things known from hearsay and not first person? Can reporting a negative fact about a person be classified as gossip? Can a noticeable refusal to answer a specific question about a person be labeled as indirect gossip? Is it only false statements or those whose nature are unknown? I don't know the answer.
Truth be told, I feel that I have gossiped and this brings be great grief.  It undermines all that I believe in and stand for, but without a clear definition of what I believe to be gossip, I am unequipped to label even my own words as above or below reproach.  I am reaching out for help and understanding.  Fellow believers, what is the biblical definition for gossip? What should I and should I not share? What the the scriptures that I can lean on for understanding and a standard for my words?


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