Slander and gossip reveal man the condition of his heart

 Defamation and dishonor are directed towards us like a test to the heart to uncover what’s hidden within – whether gentleness or anger – because a man when insulted reveals his inner self.

 If meekness rests in your soul, you’ll easily endure the slander, but if your heart is filled with wrath, enmity and desire for revenge will awaken  within you like a fire, or you will answer to defamation by another defamation. Thus, slander and gossip can teach man to know his heart and to correct its condition.

 Christ, the Son of God, the only one without sin, endured all defamation to show us the way to follow Him. It was in this way, that all the saints and apostles followed and in it you’ll find the support for your patience.

(St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, On the Passions)

Please also see:

In Consolation of a Certain Brother 
Made the Victim of Slander