‘We hear that some of you are living in idleness. You are not busy working—you are busy interfering in other people’s lives!’ 2 Thessalonians 3:11 ISV
One day Peter looked at John and said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus immediately rebuked Peter and said, ‘What’s that to you? Just follow Me.’ (See John 21:21–22) Now, if the apostle Peter could get into trouble for meddling, any of us can. The issue here isn’t about helping others; it’s about knowing when to stay out of the middle and mind your own business. Sometimes we jump in and try to solve problems without being asked. And not only are our efforts fruitless, they’re resented. As you become spiritually mature and get over your need to ‘fix’ everybody, life becomes simpler. Now that you’re not ‘butting in’ where you’re not invited, you’re more available to help where you’re really needed. Not meddling, however, goes beyond avoiding the temptation to police, enlighten or rescue others. It means not eavesdropping, gossiping, talking behind people’s backs and needing to figure everybody out. Recognise any of these traits in yourself? If so, deal with the problem before it costs you the respect of others. Do you know why we focus so much on other people’s shortcomings? You’ve guessed it—to keep from having to look closely at ourselves. The only thing you can change about others—is your attitude towards them. Paul writes, ‘You are busy interfering in other people’s lives! We order and encourage such people by the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.’ (2 Thessalonians 3:11–12 NKJV) Counsellor Melody Beattie says: ‘Being a peacemaker doesn’t mean we get in the middle. We are bearers of peace by staying peaceful ourselves… not causing the extra chaos created when we get in the middle of other people’s affairs and relationships.’
SoulFood: Isa 38–41, Luke 2:34–40, Ps 74:1–11, Pro 2:6
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019
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