“Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.” Proverbs 11:13
When I was a little girl I would “pinky promise” not to tell something someone told me, in confidence. It was usually because they did something their parent told them not to, such as liking a certain boy or something bad that happened to them. However when you are a kid, it does not seem like such a big deal if you tell your friends what was told to you because you somehow have this idea that the secret owner will not find out it was you who blabbed because you “pinky promised.”
The reality though is that it does matter, even if they never find out it was you that said it. You broke their trust and ultimately disappointed God. In His eyes we are perfect so I can image Him watching our decisions unfold right in front of Him, like a movie. Every time we disappoint Him we get a little tarnished and He may need to spend some time polishing us up again. Why go through all of that, why put Him through that.
The rule of thumb with secrets is anything someone tells you is a secret. It is shared with only you, unless that person says otherwise. They could be telling you about the dog they just bought but unless they say something to the nature of “it doesn’t bother me if you happen to mention it to so and so,” then it is a secret. They are trusting you to let them be the one to tell others about it.
When you share secrets or even talk about someone, you are sharing something about yourself to that person. You are sharing that you cannot be trusted and if they tables were turned you would most likely say something about them as well. So whether it is a family member, friend or acquaintance that has told you something, make sure you get a go ahead before you reveal the details.
Now just for clarification, I am not perfect so I too have made this mistake. I have to daily check myself to make sure that what I am saying to others I have already shared with the person I am talking about or I have that person’s permission to discuss it. I can promise you it is extremely hard to do but there is a reason why almost every single organization has a policy on gossiping. And just in case you didn’t know, God takes a very strong stand on gossiping, I can tell you that ’cause I checked with Him first.