What is "Idle Talk"?

I’ve been having trouble understanding the sin of Idle Talk. Does this only mean gossip and rumors, or any talk that doesn’t “edify”? I’ve been really worried about any word that comes out of my mouth for fear of this sin.

Things I’ve been worried about pertaining to this:

  • Humor and jokes just for fun
  • Telling stories for fun
  • Saying anything non-spiritual or non-necessary
  • Telling others about interesting facts

Also, at what point could this become a mortal sin?


Is is true?

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

That third requirement makes such things as telling stories, jokes, expeiences, etc. for fun sinful. Can we really only talk when it’s absolutely necessary?

You don’t believe that a sense of humor–and a love for a good story–is necessary to a life that is fully human?

Idle talk pertains to rumours and malicious gossiping.

God gave us a sense of humour and many Saints had a good sense of humour. There is nothing wrong with that! Jesus enjoyed having a good time as well (recall he was accused of being a drunkard and mixing with the riffraff?).

The only thing that would constitute mortal sin would be slandering another (if you realized this was a mortal sin and freely slandered another regardless). You would be “killing” that person’s “good” reputation.

blessings, :slight_smile:

Stories may seem like fun, but sometimes they are also conveying history, traditions and moral lessons, especially for some cultures or ethnic groups. Same for telling about an experience. Jokes, as long as they are not meant to demean or ridicule or humilate a person are very necessary, IMO. There have been studies done that laughing has many health benefits.

“Idle chatter” to me is anything that serves no purpose, especially gossip and rumors. Its giving too much worth to what other people say to be fact or truth when there is no fact or truth to what they are actually saying. Its like some people reading the Enquirer for their daily news when its a rag mag at best.

Doesn’t it?

Here’s a nice, clear answer that you “expect.” NO


And, have you obtained a spiritual director to help you with your scrupulosity yet? Delaying in getting help is very dangerous to you spiritually. You need professional help for your mental condition.

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