Wednesday, March 23, 2011


When someone says to us, "mind your own business," we know that we are being accused of "meddling." In other words, we are viewed as "sticking our nose where it does not belong." Usually our comment, which elicits such a response, has to do with criticism of the way the person is doing something. It could be a relationship issue, a sin issue, or a work-related issue, but whatever it is, our opinion is not appreciated. In a way, saying "mind your own business" is much like the admonition of the Lord to "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye" (Matt. 7:5).

There are twenty-eight verses in God's Word that contain the word, "business." And while they all refer to some kind of "work," the actual task is quite varied. There are verses that describe doing the will of the Lord as "doing His business" (1 Chron. 26:30; 2 Chron. 13:10; Neh. 11:22; etc.). Others speak of service to one's master or to the king (Gen. 39:11; Est. 3:9; 1 Sam. 21:8; etc.). Still others involve a person's occupation (2 Chron. 17:13; Neh. 13:30; Ps. 107:23; etc.). In a few cases, doing business is spoken of in a negative way. A newlywed was to do no work for the first year of his marriage (Deut. 24:5). In 1 Kings 20:40, King Ahab was "busy" doing other things that distracted him from dealing with the captured Benhadad of Syria. Just a note: this verse is the only time the word "busy" is found in the Bible.

There is another way one could use the phrase, "mind your own business," and unfortunately, it applies to members of the Body of Christ. The word, "busy" does appear three other times in the Bible, but it is connected to the word, "body." Both of the Apostles Peter and Paul had something to say about "busybodies." Peter listed "busybodies" among the things of which Christians should never be accused. The others are: murderer, thief, and evildoer! Can you imagine listing the sin of gossip as being in the same class as those three? And yet, we put people in prison for them, and often have "itching ears" for the gossip.

Paul said he had heard there were those in Thessalonica who spent all their time gossiping instead of working (2 Thes. 3:11). Apparently it is okay to report "sin in the camp" as long as the motive is to have the leaders deal with it. He was more direct in his response to the sin in a letter to Timothy. In 1 Timothy 5:13, he wrote, " And withal they learn [to be] idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."

Minding one's own business is always a good idea. We have enough "work to do" in keeping ourselves in line with what the Lord would have us think, say, and do. Keeping our own "eye" clear of splinters, beams, and motes is a full-time job. Besides, those of whom we are most often critical, belong to the Lord, and it is His business to deal with the business of His servants! And we all know He can handle them; He is constantly "handling" us if we are His child. If we are not, then He is not our Father (Heb. 12:5-8)!

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