Mind Your Own Business

Mark Zuckerberg, head honcho at Facebook, is seldom seen in anything other than jeans and a gray T-shirt. He says that eliminating clothing decisions simplifies his schedule and keeps him centered on priorities. You may question his sartorial taste, but you have to admire his focus. Most successful people keep a tight focus on priorities—they take care of their business and don’t waste time prying into matters that don’t concern them.

You have God-given work to do: He chose you before the creation of the world (Eph. 1:4); He created you for good works that he prepared in advance for you to do (Eph. 2:10); and He gave you the gifts needed to accomplish those works (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4:7-8, 11-13).

If you don’t use those gifts and do those works they aren’t rolled over into inventory to be used by someone else at some other time. The work simply doesn’t get done.

Some are inept at taking care of their business, but expert at knowing how others should be taking care of theirs. They know what the president should do, what the minister should do, what the minister’s wife should do, what Jack and Jill should do—and how they should do it.

James asked bluntly, “Who are you to judge your neighbor?” (Jas. 4:12). It was his way of saying mind your own business.

After his resurrection, Jesus showed up on the beach edging the lake where Peter and six of his buddies were fishing. He cooked breakfast for them, and after breakfast said, “Peter, let’s take a walk, I want to talk to you.” Three times he asked, “Peter, do you love me?” And three times Peter answered, “Yes, of course I do.” OK Peter, here’s what I want you to do: “Feed my lambs; take care of my sheep.” It was an assignment of enormous trust.

But Peter’s attention was diverted by the slap, slap, slap of sandals. John’s sandals. John had seen Jesus and Peter walk away from the breakfast bunch, and had followed them. Peter pointed at John and asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” And Jesus said, “That’s none of your business. Your job is to follow me. Mind your own business.”

Peter learned the lesson and passed it on—in a little letter to some of his friends, he wrote: “Let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men’s matters” (1 Pet. 4:15). He dumped meddling in a nest with some bad eggs there.

In a note Paul jotted to the Thessalonians, he wrote: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business …” (1 Thess. 4:11). They ignored that advice, provoking him to take a swing at them in his second letter, calling them “busybodies” (2 Thess. 3:11).

Your business is too important to be polluted by side-trips that divert you from your work. You don’t have time to sit around chewing the fat, meddling in matters that are none of your business.

Here are seven resolutions  will help you switch course when you catch yourself slinging judgmental mud …

1. I resolve that the moment I think critically of someone, I will say to myself, “Mind your own business.”
2. I resolve to refocus—away from the perceived flaws of others, to a mental scrubbing of my own mind and tongue.
3. I resolve to remember that I will be weighed on the same scale that I use in weighing others (Matt. 7:1).
4. I resolve to be aware that putting someone down doesn’t build me up.
5. I resolve to reverse direction, turning away from what I find distasteful in a person by forcing myself to think about some excellent quality in him.

Commitment to resolutions 6 and 7 alone will go a long way
toward eliminating negative thought and talk.

6. I resolve that when I think or say something critical about a person, I will immediately spend an equal amount of time praying for her.
7. I resolve, above all, to live in such a way that no one will ever have reason to say to me, “Mind your own business!”

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