The Geneva Study Bible notes say that in these passages the apostle is "condemning such as are curious in matters which do not concern them." Dictionary meaning for gossip is "idle talk especially about the personal or private affairs of others." And for busybody: "a person who pries into or meddles in the affairs of others."
Gossip and being a busybody are vices and sins long standing within the Christian church. They are sins that no one particularly thinks are too bad, almost accepted sins, as long as you are not spreading tales that are false. But this is not an accurate account of Scripture teaching on this matter. It is that we are NOT to be curious about matters which do not concern us. So we could ask ourselves certain questions. Does this matter have to do with me? Does it have to do with my spouse or children? Does it have to do with anyone that I am in authority over? Am I involved in the matter in any way other than by curiosity? Am I part of the matter? Do I have anything to do with a possible solution of a problem? Is it, before God, my business??
In first Thessalonians chapter 4, part of loving the brethren is minding your own business and seeking to live a quiet life. I cannot see how thinking we need to know the everyday events of everyone we know fits this particular instruction. So, what is my beef? It is social media that Christians use to look into the lives of everyone else they know. I can see, how the amazing interface of technology is such a benefit for marketing a business or keeping in touch with family and friends who are long distance. It is a great blessing to see pictures of newborns, weddings, toddler's first steps, a new house, an old friend and to catch up with the things that if we lived in the same community we would share with family or friends. BUT, when we live in each other's community and still have to nose around into what Jane or her kids are doing on a regular basis it seems to me that we are not wise. After all Proverbs 25:17 tells us, "Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house, lest he become weary of you and hate you." So how come we are setting foot into our neighbor's house daily via the internet? It is a disease called curiosity. We obviously have not learned the lesson of the elephant's child and his insatiable curiosity.
Besides, how does everyone have the time to spend sitting at the computer reading all that stuff???? I have a large family to care for and educate and to try and do it diligently I don't have the time to turn on my computer most days. If you don't have as many responsibilities as I do, then what are you doing to build the kingdom of God while reading every one's tweets or facebook posts?? Why are men and women my age friending young people in their teens and twenties? If they have that kind of time everyday, why aren't they devoting it to Christ and turning the world upside down for Him?
Why is that I run into a woman at the store and am shockingly asked personal questions about my family's happenings that I have not made public? Because I have an adult offspring who has been using social media and they found out through so and so who is friends with so and so and on and on. And though I hope and ask for discretion and wisdom on my young person's part, I no longer know how to protect my own household's inner life from exposure to unwanted busybodies. This is now an encroachment ("to intrude gradually, stealthily, or insidiously upon the rights or property of another") upon my personal privacy over which I have no control. So my suggestion is back to the questions I asked at the beginning of this post. Are you curious about matters that do not concern you? Are you directly involved in the matter or with people you are interacting with on social media or are you simply curious and wanting to know. If the answer is that you are just needing to know, it is time to consider your curiosity in light of God's Word and think of what the two greatest commandments require of us: love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
-----posted by Queen Lucy