Proverbs 18:8 is perhaps one of the most potent scripture verses revealing the power of gossip. I'll write it out in a few different versions so you can catch the full scope of the verse: The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts. (New International Version)
Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one's heart. (New Living Translation)
The words of whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. (English Standard Version)
Pretty powerful stuff! Are you catching the gist of it?
When I read this verse in it's simplicity it shouts out two things LOUD and CLEAR...
1) That gossip tastes good.
Gossip tastes good both to the one speaking gossip and the one listening, for it is one and the same thing. To gossip can be listening just as much as speaking. In fact the definition of gossip is simple:
DEFINITION OF GOSSIP (from dictionary.com) - idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others
Why does doing that taste good?
I think it's because it gets our eyes off of our own and problems and issues and screwed up lives and places them on the lives and screw ups of others - SO WE WILL FELL BETTER. It's like a drug - Momentary escape from your issues...
Common let's get honest, we feel better about ourselves when we gossip.
2) Gossip is destructive
It's extremely evident that it separates friends, and destroys relationships. The reason is because usually false or misread information is received... twisted, taken out of context, misconstrued... And that skewed information goes down 'into the inner parts' - what you've received about a person becomes a part of your opinion of them. And the fact of the matter is that most of time it's not entirely (sometimes not at all) accurate.
So now you have gossiped. You felt good (for a minute, because your eyes are off your problems for minute). You're opinion gets warped or further confirmed, often falsely. The person who you spoke of didn't even get a chance to share their own story or opinion or circumstance. You've lost trust, both toward them and them towards you. It just messes stuff up!
Furthermore, now you are more likely to be gossiped about.
... a vicious cycle.
Answer to the dilemma... DON'T FREAKING GOSSIP!
Instead, pray. Write the person who is struggling a personal Facebook message, email, or card and tell them you are praying for them (if they are a friend).
Stop feeding the drama cycle in your life.