If there is a problem that is blatant, out in the open, we will notice and deal with it. However, if it is hidden chances are we will not see it unless it causes us trouble. Gossip does this to both the person who participates and the recipient. Most people do not realize the damage this "innocent" sin causes.
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" Ephesians 4:29
I better start by defining gossip, what is one of the primary meanings for the phrase, "corrupt word."
It describes a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts, rumors, or reports of an intimate nature that are none of his business. For instance, gossip would include: Talking about other people's business and things that do not concern you. Repeating what someone else said, even though you don't know whether or not it's true. Talking to others as if you were an authority on matters that are other people's business, when in reality you don't know what you are talking about.
One of the problems with gossip is that the person who is the victim has no way to defend themselves either they never hear about the gossip or if they do and try to defend themselves, they can be perceived as guilty even in their defense because the gossiper has damaged their reputation. God hates gossip! Gossipers are among those who do not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. That doesn't mean if you gossip once your spirit is in jeopardy, but a habit of gossiping means your heart has been corrupted and that corruption, if not dealt with, will eventually lead to your spirit being corrupted and relationship with the Lord broken.
Paul continues in the next verse, "do not grieve the Holy Spirit," the implication being that corrupt communication causes the Holy Spirit to be grieved, youch! The word gossip in the Greek also means to whisper. As most gossip is based on hearsay and a lack of facts and/or understanding it is most often whispered. A rule to help you eliminate gossip in your life is to ask yourself, "could I say this in public? Have I said this to the person, face to face?
If we are honest, most of us have gossiped, and whether we know it or not, most of us have been the victim of gossip. When you have a heart to gossip, your heart is generally hurting. Confess your heart to gossip and ask the Lord to heal your heart or wound so you can...Philippians 4:8 Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."