Saturday, January 20, 2007

Buzybody? Who me?

Several weeks ago our pastor preached on 1 Thes 4:9-12. The title of his message was “Fanatics, Busybodies and Loafers.” It was painful to listen to.

This week, in our Bible study, we are at 1 Peter 4:14-15. In it, Peter tells his flock, “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you…but let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer or as a busybody in other people's matters.” Great. Here Peter does not group busybodies with loafers but with murderers and thieves. It’s hard to miss his meaning.

When I was a teen, I went to church with my friends on Sundays. We would walk there, sit in the back and try to keep quiet, because where we churched, being quiet in church was the norm. So we would say to each other “don’t laugh,” and that would always send us into a torrent of giggles.

Why is it that rules, in and of themselves, have no power? In fact, they almost beg us to break them! What then gives us power to obey Christ?

Another sermon was one that I found more helpful. The title of it was “Drinking Seawater” and it was about sexual immorality. I found even the title more encouraging, because in it, pastor was not simply identifying the sin, but telling us all why the pursuit of the sin was so damaging to us. Drinking seawater is just how it is to engage in sexual immorality. It looks good, it looks like it would quench your thirst and it certainly is plentiful. But in truth, it only makes you more thirsty, and in the end, will kill you.

Sometimes when we can uncover God’s truth in a matter, it can help free us from the power over a sin. In this case, being a busybody.

If I am Princess Busybody, my mom was the Queen. It’s so hard to break a generational habit, because with the habit we have been trained in the falsehoods that perpetuate it. Even though I did not want to become like my mother, she has taught me all the lies that make her that way. So let’s shine some light on the subject and get back to the truth.

  • First lie…I’m only trying to help. No. I am trying to control the situation. I do not like how it’s turning out and I want to fix it, fit them, know what is going to happen, be prepared.

    God is in control. If it is their issue, He will talk to them about it and not you. If He doesn’t like how it’s turning out, He is well able to fix it. If He needs you to be prepared, He can prepare you too. If He wants you to be unprepared, you can be unprepared and still survive. It is ok.
  • Next lie…They need my help. No. You are not smarter than them, more educated, better prepared. If they want your help or advice, they can ask you. If they do not, they may want to figure it out by themselves.

    When we do for others, sometimes they feel incompetent and unable to care for themselves. They will never learn how to take care of their own business if we are always in it.
  • Last and biggest lie…If I don’t help, something awful will happen. Well, maybe. But it doesn’t matter. Sometimes this is the only way people learn and to take away their opportunity to fail is to stunt their growth. When people make mistakes, even if they are close to us, like our children, our husband, we are NOT responsible for it.
When I worry about other people’s business, I can neglect my own. Instead of approaching the Throne of Grace in prayer, I spin my wheels trying to think of ways to convince people of my ideas. Instead of resting in the sovereignty of God, I thrash around in my mind needlessly and God’s peace alludes me.

On That Day, Jesus will not ask me how others did in their lives. He will only ask me about my own. In some cases, I should share my thoughts, but only in humility, gentleness and love. And then, once or twice is usually enough. After that, the Lord of Hosts is well able to use my words and repeat them to others if they have merit and purpose in His Kingdom.

Murderers, thieves and busybodies. How seriously You take this matter, Beloved! Perhaps I should take it more seriously too and seek forgiveness and obedience in this matter. Because not only will You not hold me responsible for other’s behavior, but You will most definitely hold me responsible for mine!

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