October 22, 2009

Minding Your Business

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business …
1 Thessalonians 4:11


You can tell that things aren’t going well in a relationship if you see someone inflicting guilt or blame when it is not their place to bring judgment. That comes from the urge to force their way into the lives of others, even when they haven’t been invited into the picture.

There are many books on having proper personal boundaries because there are many of us who need to set boundaries in our lives. Some of us are not good at respecting the space of others in our relationships. Some of us should read at least one such book.

Paul addresses this weakness too. He commends his readers for their godly living and then urges them “to do this more and more.” Paul also calls them to mind their own business without being a burden to anyone. Others, whom he calls “outsiders,” are watching. We must win their respect to have a credible witness.

Now, minding our business doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to someone’s destructive behavior. No true friend or neighbor would do that, and we are all neighbors of one another (see Matthew 22:37-40). We are also to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). We must ask for wisdom on how to speak up and judge someone’s behavior, as well as on how to be quiet and trust that they know what they’re doing! It’s a matter of respecting others as we also wish to be respected.

Father who knows all, help us to reach out with care and concern while refraining from judging. Give us patience to respect others and to mind our own business, wisely. Amen!

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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