"Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
It is interesting to me that God would combine gossip -- (that which many think is a "small sin" or not a sin at all -- in the same category as murderers, God-haters, and evil-doers. In fact, He says that people who do these things (including gossip) deserve death! This is a true indication of how gossip grieves the heart of God.
Gossiping statements, whether true or false, can deeply injure an individual. No one has the right to reveal anything about another person, especially statements that are of the most intimate nature. God will always deal with the sin, yes, even with the sin of gossip!
If Christians are truly a people chosen by God, then we have a duty and responsibility to point others to Christ. It is of utmost importance not to damage another soul because we have a hard time reigning our tongues. Gossip and slander are the very tools used by Satan in order to destroy the body of Christ. Gossip seems like a subtle sin, however, if not subdued, it can become infectious and wound many.
Women in particular can be the worst of gossipers. Had it not been so, Jesus wouldn't have revealed himself to three women when He first rose from the dead. He knew that in doing this, news of His resurrection would quickly spread throughout the whole town! (See Luke 24:9-10).
Gossip not only degrades the person that is being talked about, but gossip degrades the gossiper. No one trusts or feels "safe" around a tongue lashing gossiper! Someone close to me always says, "If someone is willing to talk to you about somebody else, then that someone is willing to talk to somebody else about YOU!"
Truly, words of wisdom to live by.