How often do we find ourselves in trouble because we are unable to mind our own business? Indeed, it is so tempting to offer unsolicited advice when we see someone in trouble. There are also times when we jump into the fray for no good reason – we are just being nosy. Being nosy was a problem of the apostle Peter that the Lord Jesus had to correct. After telling the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God, Peter looked around, saw the apostle John and said, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:21-22).
Jesus’ statement tells us that each one of us has a life to live. He has a plan for us individually, and all that we need to do is to follow him. We should not be distracted by God’s plan for other people. If we can only focus our attention and energy on God’s plan for ourselves, we can avoid a lot of trouble. There are indeed those who are suffering unnecessarily because they chose to mind other people’s business. It is for this reason that the apostle Peter warned, “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler” (1 Peter 4:15).
The reason why we must mind our own business is that “each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way” (Rom. 14:12-13). When we meddle in somebody else’s business, we can complicate their lives, and to no advantage to us. Often, we do not even know the root of the issue and we just want to jump into the fray. This is the reason why some protagonists will come back to say, “Mind your own business.”
How are we then to mind our own business? There are four ways by which we can do so.
Don’t interfere with somebody else’s life. We will save ourselves from trouble if do not meddle in the affairs of others. King Solomon, in his Proverbs said, “Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own” (Prov. 26:17). Many find themselves in hot water after they joined a fight that was not theirs. A dog can be friendly, but if provoked, it will bark and bite. Again, King Solomon said, “It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling” (Prov. 20:3).
Make it your goal to live a quiet and peaceful life. By minding our own business, we will become more focused and productive. Meanwhile, we will avoid all kinds of troubles and problems that do not concern us in the first place. For this reason, the apostle admonished believers, saying, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thess. 4:11). “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18).
Be busy, not a busybody. One of the reasons why many people meddle in the affairs of others is that they are idle – they have nothing to do. They have the habit of peeking or prying into somebody else’s life and they spend their day talking about it. They have an opinion on anything that they see. The Bible says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions” (Prov. 18:2). This is true not only for unbelievers but for believers as well. Thus, the apostle Paul said, “We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat” (2 Thess. 3:11).
Refrain from passing along rumors. Rumors are unconfirmed or unverified stories or statements. They are so destructive that passing around rumors was specifically prohibited by the Lord. The Lord said, “Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD” (Lev. 19:16). But why do people like to gossip? King Solomon said, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts” (Prov. 26:22).
Let us mind our own business and live quiet and peaceful lives. Let us focus our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and engage in the Father’s business of winning souls. Let us stay blessed. Hallelujah!