For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 1 Corinthians 1:11 ESV
When Pam teaches children in the Public school about the need to report, most children have the same response to her. “No way, snitches get stitches!”
When is reporting helpful and not gossip?
We are unsure who Chloe is or her people. Some have speculated that Chloe is a Corinthian church member and “her people” are her sons or perhaps her slaves. What we do know, is that Paul establishes her as the source of his information.
Some helpful guidelines when you think something needs to be shared, but you don’t want to gossip
- Share it with an authority who has responsibility to address the issue. It doesn’t have to be the “big boss”. Rather, share it with the closest person who can deal with the problem. Paul had apostolic authority because he started the church. Much gossip in the church could be curtailed if there was a clear line of authority to render correction.
- Share facts without speculations. None of us know exactly why someone chooses to do something wrong. You may see someone steal and object, but that does not mean that you know “why” they did it.
- Share facts without judging. God alone is judge and He has not shared that responsibility. A judge executes sentencing. We are not to offer suggestions about what we think should happen to the person. Wrong – “She is getting what she deserves.” “He cheated on her, so let him suffer now.”
- If you don’t want to be quoted as the source of information, then it is best to keep quiet. If someone is telling you something you think is gossip, just ask them. “Can I tell others that you are the one who told me?”
- Tell the person gossiping that you really don’t want to know…If they are a person who gossips to you…they will also gossip about you.
- Sometimes, correct reporting will bring freedom, even if it is hurtful at the beginning. Light exposes darkness and can be the starting process for healing.
Blessings. Love y’all.